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Hartford housing saga takes a twist
12:27pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
THE ammunition from a Second World War Albermale bomber is proving the latest unlikely twist in a Hartford housing saga.
Hartford Parish Council and Joint Action Group are against plans for 650 homes to be built on School Lane and Grange Farm sites and are awaiting a decision on the developer’s appeal.
However, after witnessing developers performing geo-technical work to check drainage at Grange Farm last week, vice chairman of Hartford Parish Council Phil Herbert has called on the power of the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.
The councillor believes the April 15, 1946 crash site is protected by the act.
This act makes it an offence to ‘tamper with, damage, move or unearth any remains of aircrafts crashed while in military service unless the Secretary of State has issued a licence’.
The Royal Air Force Museum Records Office confirmed the crash had taken place and Clr Herbert, a former Naval Airman in the Fleet Air Arms, has reason to believe the bomber was carrying heavy artillery.
He said: “Having hit a chimney stack opposite the Crescent, the Albemarle knocked the tops from trees at the end of Walnut Lane, crashed into the orchard at Grange Farm, and finally into the wall opposite the shops on Chester Road.
“The possibility of scatter remains is high and, as the gun turret was manned, there is the question of four Browning machine guns, each with a magazine capable of holding one thousand rounds of .303 ammunition.”
The Ministry of Defence confirmed they would need to investigate the site if any live ordnance is suspected to remain.
A Cheshire West and Chester Council spokesperson said: “We are awaiting a decision from the planning inspectorate following an appeal.
“However, should permission be given then any development at the site, we understand, would have to be accompanied by an MOD licence.
“Any live ordnance would have to be dealt with by the proper authorities.”
Hartford resident Aubrey Gerald Crowe was one of four who died in the crash and Clr Herbert would like the parish council to recognise the crew at the site.
“It is a sensitive area and it is hoped that a memorial cairn will be placed in the near future,” he said.
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