York & North Yorkshire

RAF Menwith Hill: Base in bid for extra radar antenna shelters

Menwith Hill Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The listening base plays a role in US and UK intelligence-gathering

Plans for extra radar shelters at a communications and intelligence base have been lodged by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The application for three shelters - called radomes - at RAF Menwith Hill, in North Yorkshire, was submitted to Harrogate Borough Council in June.

If approved, it would take the number of domes at the base to 37.

They protect radar antennas from the elements and due to their appearance are often known as the "golf balls".

The proposed radomes are 68ft (21m) in diameter and the plans also include a new support building.

The additions are "required to meet the operational output of the station", the MoD documents said.

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The listening base near the A59 covers 245 hectares (605 acres) and plays an important role in US and UK intelligence-gathering and communications.

Staff from the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and America's National Security Agency operate there, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The operations at the site have made it the subject of demonstrations from a variety of groups who oppose its presence.

The latest application comes after the council approved construction of a single additional radome in November 2018, which is due to be built in August 2021.

The council also approved the demolition of  13 buildings at the site last year.

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