Yesterday evening I attended a Civic Briefing at RAF Croughton at Brackley, Northamptonshire on my first official engagement as Vice-Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council. This was so that I could hear first hand the plans that the USAF have for rationalising their sites in the UK. The base is situated just across the border from Oxfordshire, and certainly impacts on the highway network across north Oxfordshire. There was much discussion about future access to the site for construction traffic and a new main gate.
We were told that due to cuts in the US defence budget, there are plans to consolidate all telecommunications and operational activities at Croughton, which means that RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth will now close. This is due to take place around 2021/2022, but the operation to build brand new facilities at Croughton is on the horizon and needs a great deal of co-ordination. There were several local residents at the briefing, as the US take their relationship with the local community very seriously. We were also taken on a tour of the base so that we could see what there is currently, and where plans are to build the new facilities, which will include schools and more housing for families as well as the operational buildings.