RAF Woodbridge, ROC Barracks, Woodbridge & 12 Other Bases

Defence Estates & Babcock DynCorp

4 weeks


Woodbridge, Suffolk

Location & Overview

As part of the decommissioning of this former WW2 military airbase situated to the east of Ipswich, Defence Estates’ objective was to remove fuel tanks, pipelines & associated buildings during their ongoing remediation scheme to facilitate future development. The majority of the 42 tanks were underground, their volumes ranging from 300 to 1 million gallons. Much of the site was overgrown, with the tanks being covered by established woodland.

Work, Challenges & Solutions

Due to their nature and age, the exact position of the tanks had to be identified and a survey produced.
Samples were taken of the contents of the tanks, the immediate surrounding area, and the site in general by Independent Environmental Consultants to identify contamination.
The connecting pipelines to the tanks were drained, cut, and capped, with the contents being pumped into tankers and removed from site for safe disposal. A secondary control measure was to use the tank retaining structure as a bund.
The area was cleared of all trees and vegetation, with the topsoil being excavated and set aside. The concrete structures encasing the tanks were broken out, pulverised and stockpiled, ready to be used as backfill.
The fuel tanks and associated pipework were cut into sections using hydraulic shear attachments.
The retained base sections were core drilled to provide drainage before backfilling with arisings. The entire area was graded, landscaped, and seeded to return the site to its former state.


No loss or spillage of any contaminated material into the ground during the works.
On completion of the works, the Independent Consultant issued a validation certificate to verify that the decontamination had been achieved.
Security measures and procedures were implemented, as the works were carried out alongside the MOD, RAF, and nearby residences.
Work was completed on time and within budget.