|Near Locking, Somerset in England|
The site of former RAF Locking in 2005.
(Latin for 'We teach')
|Type||Royal Air Force training station|
|Owner||Ministry of Defence|
|Operator||Royal Air Force|
|Fate||Site sold and station buildings demolished, redeveloped for commercial and residential use.|
Ministry of Defence use
RAF Locking was opened as a training unit in 1937. The Technical Site of RAF Locking, as distinct from the RAF Weston-super-Mare airfield about a mile away was the home of the No. 1 Radio School RAF, until its relocation in 1998 to RAF Cosford.
The base was bought by the South West of England Regional Development Agency and the agency English Partnerships from the Ministry of Defence in 2002. The agencies and North Somerset Council intend to attract high-tech companies to the site. In October 2006, Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology became one of the first such companies to announce its move there. Proposals are under consideration for an employment and residential development for the site that could deliver 25 hectares (61.8 acres) of employment space and up to 1,800 new homes.
In July 2011, North Somerset Council gave planning permission for the £50 million LeisureDome, which was to contain a 210-metre (690 ft) indoor ski slope, a 40-metre (130 ft) climbing wall, a vertical wind tunnel for indoor skydiving, indoor surfing, a BMX track, a health and fitness club, and a number of shops and restaurants. Construction was planned to finish in early 2013, but in 2015 the future of the project was in doubt because of the need for additional funding, and no mention of the LeisureDome proposals appear on the information provided by St. Modwen Properties, the developers about their plans for Locking Parklands as the site is now known.
The Dedication of the RAFLAA Monument was held at 14.00hrs on Wednesday, 18 July 2018, at Locking Parklands.
There were some 70 attendees including: 25 RAFLAA members and wives; the Mayor of Weston-Super-Mare; Chairman of Locking Parish Council; St Modwen Southwest Regional Director; St Modwen Senior Development Manager; Representative from Homes England; Branch Secretary of W-s-M RAFA; Squadron Leader John Clark (Retd.) ex-Flight Commander, RAF Locking. The monument itself is situated across the road from the new community facility, otherwise known as the Radio Wing, also paying homage to the site’s history. The structure was designed by former apprentices Richard Atkinson, Tony Horry and Peter Crowe,UniqueTiles Ltd and features the apprentice wheel – a brass propeller worn by young RAF recruits.
- Historic England. "Locking Castle (192672)". PastScape. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Historic England. "Locking Castle (1008301)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
- "621 VGS History". Retrieved 14 October 2009.
- Berryman, David (2006). Somerset airfields in the Second World War. Newbury: Countryside Books. pp. 132–141. ISBN 1-85306-864-0.
- "Press Release 19/10/2006 - New name for RAF Locking announced". English Partnerships. Archived from the original on 8 January 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2006.
- Ross, Alex (22 July 2011). "£50million Leisuredome gets planning approval". The Weston Mercury. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Parker, Becky (17 November 2015). "Leisuredome project could be scrapped". Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "Locking Parklands" (PDF). St. Modwen. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- Parker, Becky (17 November 2015). "Leisuredome project could be scrapped". Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
- Angear, Simon (4 August 2012). "Ski centre buy-out 'won't block Leisuredome'". The Weston Mercury. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "Weston Villages Supplementary Planning Document" (PDF). North Somerset Council website. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2011.