West Country bunker available for sale
Date of Article
Jun 09 2011

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A former radar control station, constructed in the 1950s and overlooking the Salcombe estuary, is now available for sale with a guide price of £750,000.

The bunker at Hope Cove in Kingsbridge, Devon was constructed in 1952 as part of the ‘ROTOR’ air defence radar system; an elaborate radar system built by the British government to detect possible Soviet bombers.

Due to the rapid advancement of radar technology; it was never actually connected to the defence system, and was used as a RAF Fighter Control School between 1956 and 1957. Following the departure of the RAF in 1958 it was transferred to the Home Office for conversion into a Regional Seat of Government; a bomb-proof hideout for key staff who would have controlled the south west of England in the event of a nuclear war.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and Government re-organisation, staffing levels were reduced and the bunker eventually closed its doors and was sold to private purchasers in the 1990’s.

Considering the bunker’s age and construction methods available at the time, it is in good condition and is packed full of many of the original features and contents (most of which are included within the sale) including maps in the large mezzanine plotting room, the vast air conditioning plant room and teak flooring which would not look out of place in the dining room of a stately home. Since passing into private hands it has been used for a variety of activities including archive storage and as a venue for an art exhibition.

The Hope Cove Bunker comprises two floors, each with approximately 28 rooms and a gross internal area of 33,000ft2. There is also a radio transmission mast included within the sale which produces an annual income of around £11,000.

Andrew Black, an associate at Carter Jonas who specialises in telecommunications and infrastructures, commented: “This really is a fascinating installation which needs to be viewed to fully appreciate its condition and commanding location. It would suit a variety of uses including a museum, art gallery, uniquely themed hotel or even a ‘Grand Designs’ style house.”

The bunker has a guide price of £750,000.