Council saddened by news of local air base closure

Posted on: 8 November 2016

North Devon Council is saddened by the news that its local air base RMB Chivenor will close by 2027.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced this week that they have decided to close their North Devon base. From 2027 operations will continue from the Devonport base in Plymouth.

Councillor Des Brailey, Leader of North Devon Council, says: “I am truly sad to hear this news. However, it was requested for closure by the Royal Marines so we have to respect their decision. I can understand the difficulty of having a logistics depot at Chivenor, yet supporting the Royal Marines Commandoes in Plymouth. If the base stayed in Chivenor it would not meet the military needs of their head quarters and staff.

“I have spoken to our MP Peter Heaton Jones and understand that the decision is non negotiable. Albeit, he is now trying to secure a favourable outcome for the area. He has suggested we meet with the minister and the local base commander at the earliest opportunity.

“While it is very sad, let’s be optimistic. The decision has been made, of course it’s not what we wanted, but we must now turn this to the advantage of North Devon. We now need to work together with the MOD and our MP to achieve the best outcome for the future of the site.”

Local ward member for Heanton Punchardon, Councillor Andrea Davis, said: “This is a major blow to our local community and the economy. The base provides many jobs in my ward and plays a significant part in the life of our community. To say they will be missed is an understatement. It’s true to say many people are in a state of shock.

“It’s been an operational base since 1941 when Gladiators took off to defend this country, allowing us all to enjoy the freedom we have today.”

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