RAF Coningsby was in scope at the commencement of the Service-wide SLAM programme back in 2003 and it will be in scope at the end. SLAM will deliver 3 new accommodation blocks over the next 18 months to 2 years as the last accommodation to be delivered under the programme.

SLAM is coming to RAF Coningsby and we can all expect to see the commencement of work on-site around May of this year. The SLAM team will deliver 3 new accommodation blocks, one for SNCOs and two for JRs with over 230 bed spaces expected to be delivered in total. The Seniors accommodation will house 104 whilst that of the Juniors a not inconsiderable 127 across 2 blocks. With a fair wind we anticipate the accommodation being ready for occupation just prior to Christmas 2014.

With space at a premium on RAF Coningsby’s main site, the accommodation blocks will be deftly squeezed onto the grassed area between the Station HQ building and building 34 where the Royal Engineers and Works Flight hang out. This site is in close proximity to the main WOs’ and Sgts’ Mess as well as existing JRs’ SLAM. That said, nothing is far from anything else on the Coningsby main site and all accommodation is well within shouting distance of the SWO’s office.

The new barrack blocks will be delivered by the main SLAM contractor Debut whose design team experts have proposed two L-shaped JR blocks whilst the SNCOs get a standard construction. The build will come with additional car parking of over 100 spaces, all located either behind the Station HQ or adjacent to the Church. The internal layout of the Seniors’ accommodation includes one utility room and a food prep area catering for 26 rooms, whilst that of the Juniors includes 7 or 8 flatlets, all sharing a common room and utility slash food prep area. Disabled bedrooms have been included within the SNCOs’ block and one of the JR blocks.

For those that like a little more detail, anoraks at the ready. In a departure from the design of the existing SLAM the new blocks will be a 4-storey construction in order to keep the overall height of each building to a minimum. And for those who crave roof construction data, the roof will be a mono-pitched design akin to that found on the Typhoon MSC building opposite, the max height of the SNCOs block coming in at 13.16m and that of the JRs at 12.768m. For comparison, the existing SLAM is 12.243m high. There is less than 1m difference, achieved by excluding a pitched roof which makes better use of the limited available space at Coningsby and so guarantees more of those much sought after Grade One bed spaces.

In an age of slashed budgets and funding constraints, the delivery of brand new, purpose built accommodation is unequivocally a ‘good news’ story. More than that though it is the culmination of excellent forward planning and tenacious harassment (in a non-Service Complaints type way) of Air Command infrastructure staffs by the Works Flight and our Royal Engineers. Thanks to them and roll on Christmas 2014.