House plan for former US airbase building at Grafton Underwood

A building in Grafton Underwood which was at the heart of operations during the Second World War is the subject of a planning application.

By Alison Bagley
Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 5:30 pm
The building is off the Brigstock Road near Grafton Underwood
The building is off the Brigstock Road near Grafton Underwood

Boughton Estates Ltd is seeking permission to convert a disused former map room to provide a house , along with access and amenity area, on land off Brigstock Road, Grafton Underwood.

Located near Grafton Park Wood one mile north of the village, the concrete and brick 14-room building was one of the operations buildings used by US troops.

If successful, the planning application would see the the majority of the existing building being converted for residential use with parts 'not suitable for conversion' demolished.

Veterans returned to the airbase in September 2019

Residents and can comment on the application submitted by Boughton Estates to Kettering council here.

The Friends of the 384th - a group dedicated to preserving the history of the US personnel who were stationed at Grafton Underwood - have launched a petition hoping to encourage the building to be used as a museum.

They have urged people to back their plans for the building to be kept as a place for visitors.

Their post on Go Petition says: "It is well known that the site of the airfield is visited many hundreds, if not thousands of times every year, and that there are visitors from all over the world.

Grafton Underwood during the Second World War

"Such a museum would be beneficial to the local and international community, acting as a focal point for historical research into the site, and also championing the vast array of wildlife that can be seen and celebrating the surrounding nature.

"From a coffee on a morning dog walk to tracing a forebears footsteps thousands of miles from home, such a building would cater for all and this is an ideal opportunity to deliver a valuable community asset.

"We, the undersigned, ask that the Operations Block at Grafton Underwood airfield is developed into a museum to act as a fitting memorial to the men and women who served there during World War 2."

You can see their petition here.

A Flying Fortress crew

The expiry date for neighbours and consultations is Friday, January 3 2020