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Dog fight rages for WW2 air base signs

PUBLISHED: 16:25 09 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:14 12 August 2010

STALLED: Members of Biggin Hill Residents Association.

STALLED: Members of Biggin Hill Residents Association.

A PROJECT to highlight the crucial role of a village at the centre of the country s most heroic wartime defence has stalled. Biggin Hill Residents Association want the green light from Bromley council to put up four welcome signs depicting the village s

A PROJECT to highlight the crucial role of a village at the centre of the country's most heroic wartime defence has stalled.

Biggin Hill Residents Association want the green light from Bromley council to put up four welcome signs depicting the village's Royal Air Force roots.

The group have raised over £5,000 towards the project after years of visitors complaining that they had driven through the village without realising.

Biggin Hill was central to the Battle of Britain as an RAF base that saw hundreds of pilots paying the ultimate sacrifice to defend the country against German attack during WWII, against overwhelming odds.

The association's chairman, David Haslam said: "We are getting a bit frustrated that the project has run against the buffers. Permission has to come from the council.

"It's not as if we are asking them to pay for it, the money has been there for some time and it was approved by our committee after consultation with residents in October last year."

When the plans were put to residents the impressive designs, to be carved out of wood, depicted the association's logo - featuring a Spitfire and two Hurricanes pointed skyward.

Villager's wanted the RAF station's badge added to respect the heroic efforts of pilots and ground crew during fierce aerial assaults and bombings of WWII, especially during the Battle of Britain in summer 1940. The station's motto was "The Strongest Link".

Mr Haslam added: "The village has grown out of the presence of the Royal Flying Corps and then the RAF.

"Group 11 at the base had the highest score of enemy downed, the German defeat was very much down to the prowess of pilots based at Biggin Hill.

"It's a shame that people have driven through the village without realising where they were and how vital it was to defending the country against invasion all those years ago.

"That's why we are desperate to get the project moving again and get the welcome signs up."

Two will be placed on the A233, outside Biggin Hill Airport and the approach from Westerham; one outside Charles Darwin School on Jail Lane, another at the T-junction of Oaklands Lane and Salt Box Hill.

A spokesman for Bomley council said: "There are ongoing discussions between councillors and residents.

"When a formal application is assessed we will look at traffic and heritage issues. We would need to be satisfied that the MoD has given permission to use the RAF logo.

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