Statement from Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company regarding unexploded bomb discovery
Whilst undertaking works on the drainage areas at the Hogmoor Inclosure SANG, our contractors discovered a suspect ordnance device. Following established procedures, we immediately set up a cordon and reported the item to the police. The ordnance has subsequently been inspected by a specialist bomb unit.
The specialist bomb unit has now confirmed that the device found is an unexploded German bomb from World War Two. The device has been sitting buried for around 70 years and requires the services of a specialist disposal unit.
A 200 meter exclusion zone is currently in force and this will be extended to 1,500 meters at the time of the disposal. There will be a need to clear everyone from all homes, buildings and roads within this zone. Our current estimation is that the exclusion zone could be in place for up to 30 hours. This will include the full closure on Hogmoor Inclosure and the cancellation of the park run. We appreciate the inconvenience that this may cause to local residents, but the safety and welfare of the local community has to be our number one priority.
Our contractors have already begun the process of building sand walls and protective works surrounding the device. Royal Engineers will be onsite overnight and will be using over 300 tonnes of sand to create a blast wall around the bomb in order to prepare it for a controlled explosion, likely to take place on Saturday morning. Ministry of Defence Police will also be onsite to enforce the exclusion zone, with the help of the Hampshire Constabulary.
Many former military bases across the UK have been redeveloped in recent years and careful work is undertaken to investigate and remediate these sites prior to any work commencing. The discovery of unexploded bombs is a rarity, but we have protocols in place for such eventualities. Bordon was designated as a training and depot facility historically, making the presence of live munitions unlikely. While we cannot rule out incidents as we have experienced today, the risk associated with them is low. Nearly 600 new homes have already been built in the town, with more than another 400 underway. This incident is the first of its kind in the town.
We urge the public not to break the exclusion zone and to avoid the area completely wherever possible. Plans are being put in place to provide alternative accommodation to anyone unable to return to their homes overnight.
We will be updating our Facebook page with further information as and when it becomes available to us: https://www.facebook.com/Whitehill-Bordon-Regeneration-Prince-Philip-Park-451521158359749