Making waves: how Rugby Radio Station was retuned as a secondary school


The initial plan had been to convert Rugby Radio Station into the heart of a 6,200-home estate, but there was a shortage of secondary schools in the area and master developer Urban & Civic had other ideas, Thomas Lane visits Houlton School

When Rugby Radio Station closed in 2007, it released 1,200 acres of land on the edge of the town that was ripe for new housing. The radio station had been at the heart of international telephony, military communications and time signals for 80 years and needed the land for a vast network of masts – including 12 that were 250m high – to broadcast the longwave radio signals required to reach every corner of the world.

Classified as brownfield land, the site was taken on by master developer Urban & Civic for 6,200 homes and named Houlton after the town in Maine that received the world’s first transatlantic telephone call from the station in 1927.

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