'˜Unique' former WWII bunker goes on the market

It is a one of a kind bolthole split over two levels which commands an attractive city centre location and comes with the added bonus of being able to withstand nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks.

Picture: PA

A former World War II bunker which once served as a secret radar station for the Royal Air Force has been put up for sale.

The bunker in Raigmore, to the east of Inverness, was constructed in 1941 with specially designed concrete walls and ceilings capable of surviving a direct hit from the most powerful artillery shells used by the Nazis.

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At the height of the war, it was home to as many as 50 RAF personnel tasked with safeguarding the northern coastline of Scotland.

Picture: PA

Now, more than seven decades on, the property has been put on the open market. Its owners, Highland Council, say they do not have even a “ballpark figure” in mind, but have set a closing date for next month in the hope of attracting a buyer.

Such bunkers were once widespread across the UK during World War II, with the construction effort intensifying during the Cold War as authorities looked to establish monitoring and control posts at strategic locations.

The Raigmore facility is no different. As the sales brochure makes clear, it was extensively upgraded during the 1980s.

“As a result,” it explains, “the premises now benefit from blast and sealed doors, decontamination facilities, two diesel generators to power the building and an air filtration system to provide safe air in the event of nuclear, biological or chemical attack.”

Picture: PA

However, the brochure omits to mention one of the property’s quirkier features - two racing bikes attached to the ventilation system, which would allow the inhabitants to generate power by pedalling in the event the diesel generators failed.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the bunker found yet another lease of life, as an emergency response centre, set aside for use by the local authority, police, fire, ambulance service, coastguard and the military in the event of a disaster.

The local authority describe the bunker as a “unique subterranean property” which is being sold along with its own car park. It points out that interested parties may wish to contact the local planning department in order to discuss how it might be used before submitting their offer.

In its description of the bunker, set in a forested area of mature broad-leaved trees, the authority said: “The property includes a tarmacadam surfaced car park and two subterranean levels which were built in 1941 to house the RAF during the Second World War.”

Prospective buyers have until 2pm on 6 December to make an offer.