Towards the end of the cold war the BBC commissioned a number of protected control centres for their major transmitter sites and although none were finished until after the cold war had ended most were equipped and brought into use. All these bunkers are of an identical design with blast and fallout protection.
One of the last to be completed was at the BBC’s radio relay and transmitter site at Les Platons in Jersey. It was brought on line in 1993.
The site is now owned by Crown Castle Communications who bought all the BBC transmitter sites in 1995. The main transmitter building dates from 1955 and the new protected control centre has been added at one side and painted white to blend in with the older building.
The entrance to the bunker is through a heavy steel and concrete blast door and there is evidence that there is a ‘knock out’ emergency exit on the side wall. There was originally a direct cable link from the BBC studio in the Island’s Civil Emergency Centre in St. Helier but the cables have now been severed.
Similar BBC bunkers are known to exist at Burghhead, Westerglen. Droitwich, Wooferton, Washford, Oxford and Lisnagarvey in Northern Ireland. All were built in 1991 or 1992. Adapted basements were used at Holme Moss and Belmont. Likely sites for other bunkers are Wrotham, Rowridge, Stagshaw, Brookmans Park (now confirmed as definitely not having protected accommodation as it was considered to be too close to London to survive any blast! August 2003), Sutton Coldfield, Start Point, Swingate, Rose Markie and Forfar (Confirmed: August 2003).
Those taking part in the visit were Nick Catford, Keith Ward, and Robin Cherry.