THE former Defford airfield near Pershore, leased to the MOD since the Second World War, may be taken over by West Mercia police.

QinetiQ used the site for its Skynet communications project until the contract ran out last year.

Now West Mercia is planning to take over the buildings as an extension to its Hindlip headquarters near Droitwich.

Press officer for the force, Carl Baldacchino said: "We are in advanced negotiations with agents for the Ministry of Defence regarding the use of the Defford site for policing purposes.

The facilities and accommodation available at the site would be an extension of those available at our force headquarters and would not be open to the public.

While negotiations have yet to be concluded, the terms will represent good value to the residents of West Mercia."

He added that Wychavon District Council would consider the plans in due course, but that there would be no substantial change of use from a planning point of view.

Head of planning at Wychavon, Gill Collin said: "We have not yet been officially notified."

District councillor for Defford, Peter Wright said: "Villagers have heard rumours but until they know more details they can't really comment."

Spokesman for QinetiQ Ben White said: "Now our contract has run out we have no further use for the site and are keen to get rid of the lease."