THE stepson of Lord Dowding, who led the RAF to victory in the Battle of Britain, has criticised Ministry of Defence indifference regarding the Bentley Priory museum saga.
David Whiting contacted the Harrow Observer from France after reading how the creation of the museum to honour The Few had been dealt a blow by the collapse of a land sale between owner VSM Estates and Barratt Homes.
He said: "It might be beneficial for people to understand how the Government has grossly mismanaged the opportunity to safeguard an important part of British history."
The landmark building served as headquarters of Fighter Command, from where Mr Whiting's stepfather, Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, co-ordinated the victorious dogfights against the Luftwaffe in 1940.
Planning permission to turn the 23-hectare site into a luxury housing development was granted in July 2008 with the proviso that whichever housebuilder embarked on the transformation would also have to build the museum and pay its set-up costs.
The withdrawal of Barratt Homes means that the longer the land remains undeveloped, the longer the museum will remain unbuilt.
Mr Whiting said: "I'm furious, as are so many others, that the Government covered up their true intentions, which prevented a better outcome for the country and Harrow residents in particular.
"Alan Curtis, the founder of the Battle of Britain Priory Trust on behalf of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association, started off the trust with £10,000 out of his own pocket, as did several of his friends.
"Now despite their generosity and goodwill, it all seems to be falling through due to political indifference of the worst kind.
"I recall in July 2006, when the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Fighter Command ws celebrated with a gala dinner at RAF Bentley Priory, it was hoped that Lord Drayson, then minister for defence, equipment and support, would announce that the priory would be gifted to the Battle of Britain Fighter Association (BOBFA) to form a museum.
"A year later, when I attended the Sunset Ceremony and formal closing ceremony, the CAS, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, announced high hopes for a happy and successful conclusion when the MoD finally departed.
"Next year, we shall celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Battle of Britain, 40 years after Lord Dowding's death, and the Governments appear to have forgotten that it owes its jobs to the success of Dowding and his 'chicks', as Sir Winston Churchill affectionately called his pilots."