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Thursday 18 September 2014

Nuclear bunker goes under hammer

Published 13/02/2014 | 11:47

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The nuclear bunker at Coswarth, Newquay, which is to go under the hammer (South West Water)

A secret underground emergency bunker built to protect essential services in the event of a nuclear war is to go under the hammer.

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The bunker was constructed in 1978 in Coswarth, Newquay, Cornwall during the Cold War so experts at the then South West Water Authority could maintain water and sewerage operations after a nuclear holocaust.

The 3,000 sq ft bunker was designed for 16 people - seven in the operations room, six in the communications room and three in the control room.

The rooms are deep underground and the bunker is on the market with a £50,000 guide price.

Other features include several blast-proof doors, an air lock, decontamination room, dining room, recreation room and two dormitories.

Brian Blake, South West Water's asset performance manager, worked for the Authority at the time and remembers the bunker.

"I remember that the Government said we had to provide an underground control centre in case of emergency which was bomb and nuclear proof," he said.

"It wasn't fully kitted out as there was no furniture in there, but if something had happened you could have lived in there for weeks."

Chris Shapland, the Authority's property manager, added: "We regularly auction redundant assets to reduce our costs and keep customers' bills as low as possible, but this is the first time we've offered a genuine piece of Cold War history.

"Novelty sites with small areas of surplus land always attract strong interest as people are able to invest relatively modest sums for their 'little bit of England'.

"Several of our former storage reservoirs and pumping stations have been converted by their new owners into unusual homes. It will be interesting to see what happens to the bunker - you never know who could end up using it."

The bunker and some adjacent land will be sold at auction on March 25.

Press Association

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