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Report - QinetiQ (DERA) Bincleaves - Weymouth, Dorset - Sept 2012

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by Kinger, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Kinger

    Kinger 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

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    DERA/QinetiQ Bincleaves.

    We visited this site over the course of a few evening and daytime explores.
    Those present were the usual Weymouth team of myself along with MarkyMark and Montstar.

    Site History/Info:
    The QinetiQ Bincleaves site comprises the 1.3km Bincleaves Groyne that divides Newton’s Cove from Portland Harbour.
    The site lies approximately 0.6km south of Weymouth town centre.

    The site was primarily the test and evaluation facility for underwater acoustic ranging.
    Naval hardware such as Sonar would have been developed with extensive input from the Bincleaves site during WW2 and the subsequent Cold War.
    As with most MoD locations massive cutbacks during the 1990’s threw doubt over the future use of DERA Bincleaves.
    Most recently the breakwater arm and the associated acoustic ranging buildings were leased by QinetiQ from Portland Port. The final “end†of this operation is very hard to pinpoint, but our general feeling was that most of the site was mothballed between 2009-10.

    Personally, I cannot recall witnessing a more painfully slow demise of a site into abandonment. Continued recce’s and local knowledge over the last 4 years continued to frustrate and tease in equal measure. And just when we thought, “that’s it, its now finally emptyâ€, the site was called into action during the 2012 Olympics. Even now there are parts of the wider location still in use, such as the breakwater buildings and one building being converted into use for conferencing.

    So, with the Olympics finally out of the way, it was time to get into action.

    Photos of the Bincleaves buildings and the detail to be found within…

    Southern end of the site
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    The Stores (by far the largest building)
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    The “Restaurantâ€
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    Guard House & Entrance Gate (From the inside ;) )
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    Offices
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    Test Cell Complex, Inner Compound
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    What’s in store for the site in the future is up in the air, a recent proposed development to turn the site into homes for over 55’s, which would have included shops and a marina has now been shelved.

    There are a few more pics of the place lurking on my Flickr page, but I think that’s enough for now!

    Thanks for looking…​
     

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