RAF Locking

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RAF Locking site after demolition

RAF Locking was a Royal Air Force station at Locking just outside Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England.

Slightly north of the station is the site of Locking Castle a motte and bailey castle on Carberry Hill.[1] It has been designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[2]

Ministry of Defence use

RAF Locking was opened as a training unit in 1937.[3] 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,[4] until its relocation in 1999 to RAF Cosford.

21st century

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.[5]

In July 2011, North Somerset Council gave planning permission for the £50 million LeisureDome,[6] 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,[6] but in 2015 the future of the project was in doubt because of the need for additional funding,[7] 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.[8][9][10]

In 2011, a housing development known as Parklands Village was proposed and eventually went ahead.[11]



  1. ^ Historic England. "Locking Castle (192672)". PastScape. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Historic England. "Locking Castle (1008301)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "621 VGS History". Retrieved 2009-10-14. 
  4. ^ Berryman, David (2006). Somerset airfields in the Second World War. Newbury: Countryside Books. pp. 132–141. ISBN 1-85306-864-0. 
  5. ^ "Press Release 19/10/2006 - New name for RAF Locking announced". English Partnerships. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  6. ^ a b Ross, Alex (22 July 2011). "£50million Leisuredome gets planning approval". The Weston Mercury. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Parker, Becky (17 November 2015). "Leisuredome project could be scrapped". Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "Locking Parklands" (PDF). St. Modwen. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Parker, Becky (17 November 2015). "Leisuredome project could be scrapped". Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury. Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  10. ^ Angear, Simon (4 August 2012). "Ski centre buy-out 'won't block Leisuredome'". The Weston Mercury. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Weston Villages Supplementary Planning Document" (PDF). North Somerset Council website. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 


  • Tillbrook, Squadron Leader Ray. Over & Out - A History of Royal Air Force Locking, Told by the People Who Served. Rushden, Northamptonshire, UK: Forces & Corporate Publishing Ltd., 1998. ISBN 0-9529597-3-9.

Coordinates: 51°20′18″N 2°54′17″W / 51.338293°N 2.904596°W / 51.338293; -2.904596

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