A ‘GATE-GUARDIAN’ plane that is beloved of residents in a village near Bicester could be scrapped.

Arncott’s Tornado GR1 Plane, which has sat outside the RAF base in the village since 2002, was due to be taken down by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) this week but has been put on hold after councillors rallied together opposition to the removal.

The plane was one of the first to come off the production line in 1979 and locals are so used to seeing it guard the RAF gates in the village, they do not want to see it go.

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Cherwell district councillor Dan Sames said: “I travel past it everyday and whenI heard that it was going to be dismantled I thought about what I could do to help, and I contacted (Banbury MP) Victoria Prentis to see if she could help stop it from happening.

“It’s now no longer being dismantled and MOD are looking at other options for it instead. If it can’t stay in Arncott as a gate guardian then it could go to a museum.”

The plane has received interest from various places including the team at German RAF base Laarbruch who have offered to dismantle it and transport it to their museum.

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Arncott Parish Council has support from Aviation Heritage UK and is hoping to get the All Party Parliamentary Group for General Aviation onboard as well as The British Aviation Society.

Mr Sames added: “This was all kept very quiet and I’d rather it be saved and preserved than be quietly gotten rid of.

"We are all aware of the importance of the gate guardian for the base and the wider community.”

People have taken to Facebook to express their opinions on the possible removal of the plane.

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Patrick Chapman said: “Having flown over 2000 hours in the GR1 ‘the gate guard’ brought back some fantastic memories when I moved into the area - so sad that it’s going.”

Dee Na said: “It would be such a shame if this were to be scrapped. An historic piece, which if no longer wanted at its current location, should surely be kept at a museum.

“Bicester Heritage being so close would be ideal but I understand costs and implications of moving it may be against the decision.

“Fingers crossed the powers that be can come to a decision, which will ensure the aircraft is saved from being scrapped - even if it does have to move from its current location.”

An MOD spokesperson said: “We are currently considering a number of options for the future of this aircraft."

They added: "No final decisions have been made."