Expansion on the cards for Irton Moor base

5th June 2014'Feature on GCHQ Scarborough.'Pictured the base in Scarborough'Picture by Gerard Binks.'GB100167a
5th June 2014'Feature on GCHQ Scarborough.'Pictured the base in Scarborough'Picture by Gerard Binks.'GB100167a

Communications and intelligence organisation GCHQ has been granted permission to extend its Scarborough base.

The secretive Government agency is to build a new visitor reception centre, vehicle 
inspection bay and car park at its Irton Moor site.

The plans, which include a bulletproof area to check incoming cars and vans, went before Scarborough Council’s planning committee on Thursday last week.

Councillors joked that they should defer the decision in 
order to make a site visit, but ultimately unanimously 
approved the scheme.

The committee heard that due to an upcoming staffing increase, GCHQ Scarborough required more space for staff and visitors to park.

The reception building will be built into the ground so will not be visible from the road and the car park will be screened by trees.

Chairman of the committee, Cllr Jane Mortimer, said: “You could drive past it once these changes are made and not notice anything different.
This is going to have no impact on views so I cannot see any 
reason not to approve the plans.”

Just before the committee voted Cllr David Billing quipped that he had just received an email from GCHQ thanking them for the approval.

GCHQ is seeking bright school leavers to staff two bases in Yorkshire, including Scarborough.

General Communications HQ, which combats terrorism and online threats, is recruiting trainee technical analysts and computer security specialists.

Anyone wanting to apply must have at least five GCSEs, including maths. Salaries start at £17,365 and vetting is thorough.

A GCHQ spokesman said: “We’re always after those with the right technical and analytic capability to help GCHQ in its key missions to protect the UK from a range of threats.”