Warnings about loud bangs from military exercise should have been given to Kirton people, admits Ministry of Defence
RESIDENTS are seeking compensation from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) after blasts at a former air base allegedly caused damage to their homes.
Although no individual cases can be revealed, it is understood Kirton Town Council has been told by residents they are writing letters to the MoD asking for compensation.
The Ministry of Defence has admitted it failed to warn residents in Kirton about an exercise on the former air base that led to large bangs being heard across the town.
The MoD used the site for pre-deployment training – but officials are facing criticisms from many about the way they handled the matter.
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Humberside Police say a number of locals rang with concerns about the loud noises, which were heard over a number of days late last month.
And Kirton Town Council said the force of the bangs had caused damage to some homes.
Stan Stamford, deputy mayor of Kirton in Lindsey, spent seven years serving as a flight sergeant at the base. He said: "Houses have even been damaged by the force of the explosions.
"There were no red warning flags or lights to say the site was active.
"It is a lovely camp and perfect for some of the things Kirton needs, like office space and garages.
"It will be such a shame if we don't get to use it and it is used for exercises like this instead."
Mayor of Kirton Billy Boyd, a former Army captain, said he was unhappy that the military had failed to notify the town council or local residents before the exercise started.
"We should have known about this," he said.
"If somebody had been trespassing on the site, there could have been an issue.
"People will have been curious about the noise."
The issue was discussed at Kirton in Lindsey Town Council's latest meeting. Pat Frankish, a member of the town council, said: "It was terrifying. I was out in the open at the time and thought one of the buildings next to me was going to come down."
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "The type of routine military exercise held recently at the former RAF Kirton in Lindsey is essential in preparing military personnel for deployed operations.
"It is our policy to, whenever possible, inform local residents in advance of disruption they might experience and we regret that this did not happen on this occasion. Humberside Police were informed."
Now the town council has agreed to forward all residents' concerns about the base to the MoD's Defence Infrastructure Organisation.