back to article GCHQ's exploding doughnut threatens to ooze into innocent field

GCHQ's £330m headquarters in Gloucestershire, which was built in 2003, is already inadequate for the jam-packed Doughnut's workers – leading the agency to apply for planning permission to build more offices on its car park. The new building would be located on GCHQ's existing site, and its 4,500m2 will be spread across "a …

Silver badge

Only Temporary????

The Pre-fabs that were built after WW2 were only temporary. Yet how many are still lived in today?

So Mr GCHQ, why don't you say in what 5-year plans these will be demolished? Perhaps you really mean the 2075-2080 version?

As for the car parling. Why can't this temporary building be built on stilts over the car park? Then you get to keep the existing spaces AND hide all those employee cars from the ever present Russian/Chinese/Indian spy satellites.

12
1

Re: Only Temporary????

Presumably they are doing this merely to expand the car-park. After protracted rounds of negotiation with the council, they will mutually agree to not build the eyesore building, but keep the carpark proposal. Job done.

Typical planning strategy - put in for something outrageous, then "back-down" and agree to build what you wanted to in the first place, with all the local NIMBYs saying "phew, well at least it's not a <PET PEEVE>".

10
0
Silver badge

Re: Only Temporary????

Ive been using that strategy for my budget planning for years. I thought it was common use?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Permission granted unanimously after each Councillor was shown their "file" while on a tour of the site.

23
0
Silver badge

file containing various "pictures" and voice recordings from their mobile (that was turned off in their pocket)

0
0
url

there's an opportunity here

to get an Arial photo that looks like a giant:

I O

That really ought not be passed up.

4
1
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: there's an opportunity here

Hmmm ... a photo in Comic Sans might be more appropriate.

17
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Pint

Re: there's an opportunity here

You dingbats!

If there's a bad fonts joke out there, I've yet to hear it.

4
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: there's an opportunity here

> If there's a bad fonts joke out there, I've yet to hear it.

I'll send you one by courier.

3
0

Re: there's an opportunity here

Get with the Times.

2
0

Re: there's an opportunity here

Why don't they just use the vacant space they've got on their San Serif listening post/secret island base?

2
0
Silver badge

Re: there's an opportunity here

Better than forming an 'I O', orient the long axis of the "rectangular floor plate" through the centre of the 'doughnut' to form the handle of a giant magnifying glass.

8
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: there's an opportunity here

If I was then, I'd get the helvetica...

2
0
Silver badge

Re: there's an opportunity here

I take it you meant an aerial photograph that looked like a giant Eye of Sauron?

2
0
x 7
Silver badge

Re: there's an opportunity here

thats comic sans

0
0
Silver badge

Re: there's an opportunity here

That would make a quite interesting building.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge
Facepalm

"in keeping with its surroundings and help minimise the visual impact"

New big building in the middle of the countryside looks like the big building in the middle of the countryside it's being built next to.

4
3

Re: "in keeping with its surroundings and help minimise the visual impact"

In the middle of the countryside? It's in the middle of housing estate, next to a retail park. Couldn't be in a more English location, although there is a deeply suspicious Whole Foods Market next door, full of chaps speaking into their coat cuffs with 'Murican accents. Probably.

11
1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: "in keeping with its surroundings and help minimise the visual impact"

It's in the middle of housing estate, next to a retail park

Thereby demonstrating either incredible ineptitude in the arts of secrecy or incredible cunning in the same. One never knows with spooks :)

1
0
Silver badge

Re: "in keeping with its surroundings and help minimise the visual impact"

The housing estate isn't known as Raccoon City, is it?

2
0
Silver badge

Re: "in keeping with its surroundings and help minimise the visual impact"

Thereby demonstrating either incredible ineptitude in the arts of secrecy or incredible cunning in the same.

Nobody really bothers trying to keep the exterior of secret facilities secret any more - complete waste of time with modern reconnaissance technology and the length of time these facilities are supposed to remain secure. However against this trend some organisations do still try to conceal the location of their key sites; National Grid's national control centre being one example, about a mile away from me. We all know where and what it is, guys!

3
0

Re: "in keeping with its surroundings and help minimise the visual impact"

No, it's known as Princess Elizabeth Way and nobody minds too much if it's inhabitants are collateral damage to an attack on the doughnut. Should've built it closer to Hesters Way but I suspect cost of replacing the windows every 5 minutes would have been prohibitive.

2
1
Silver badge

Re: "in keeping with its surroundings and help minimise the visual impact"

It's in the middle of housing estate, next to a retail park. Couldn't be in a more English location

Yes, putting the guys with the uber high resolution cameras and listening gear right next to a ladies college has zero potential for fun.

Hi GCHQ - Please don't tell my wife about my browsing habits. She has no idea I want to be a monk.

1
0
Mushroom

Re: "in keeping with its surroundings and help minimise the visual impact"

Somewhere around the Telford area there is a sign post to the "Secret Nuclar Bunker".

3
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: "in keeping with its surroundings and help minimise the visual impact"

It's actually on the main road going into Cheltenham, it does sit on the edge of a housing estate not in the middle, Whole food market is 2 miles away.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: "in keeping with its surroundings and help minimise the visual impact"

Given the huge quantities of certain types of media available on the Internet, I would have thought that this sort of voyeurism was almost dead. Still, it's an idea if anyone wants to film a sequel to Confessions of a Window-Washer.

1
0
x 7
Silver badge

Re: "in keeping with its surroundings and help minimise the visual impact"

"Whole food market is 2 miles away"

sell a lot of nuts there?

0
0
Big Brother

'APPROVED!'

They'll get their own way, i mean, just imagine the DIRT they've got on all the local councillors and officials at Cheltenham Borough Council...no clean hands anywhere, anymore.

GCHQ has got to go!

2
4

Build underground - then people can't take photos of your existing carparks.

6
0
Silver badge
Joke

unless you only put things overground that you WANT to be seen. All the aliens who really run GCHQ use their own underground railroad of course.

0
0
Silver badge

Just insist that they all bike to work - far easier to fit in the bikes...

Motorbikes or pedal bikes...

Or more realistically - just insist that they do the multistorey car park at the same time

5
0

Re: Just insist that they all bike to work - far easier to fit in the bikes...

Or also realistically, if innovative for the UK:

Insist that they come to work on electric bikes. The lower top speed than a car is balanced by the ability to use bike paths and keep moving past vehicles queued as the one in front turns right.

There are some very sweet electric bikes out there. They're very popular in China, with (I think) 50% of last years bike sales being electric.

1
0
Thumb Up

Underground lair

You would expect that GCHQ would really want to build underground, thus avoiding any prying eyes, long lenses, or ARIEL photography.

All big spy organisations should have an underground lair

..... and a man with a monocle

..... and a white cat. Got to have a white cat.

7
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Underground lair

>> ARIEL photography.

That's a BOLD statement. You must think of the persilnel and the dazzling array of surfing that needs to be examined.

6
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Underground lair

>> ARIEL photography.

I was thinking more along the lines of 'the little mermaid'...

I mean tasteful >> ARIEL pornography photography.

therapy hasn't helped any obviously...

2
0
url

Re: Underground liars

phew

i feel better about the inevitable areolae photography of and emanating from the gchq

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Underground lair

I'm extremely glad it isn't underground as the enormous donut is unmissable in any weather day or night, and makes landing on runway 27 at Staverton (Gloucestershire) Airport easy as can be. I learnt to fly there and have done hundreds of circuits directly over it, getting a view just like in the photo.

0
0

The building always reminds me of a reel-to-reel tape spool. They should build another identical one a short way off and another smaller building between that looks like a tape reading head.

2
0
Silver badge

Why not build a artificial volcano then they can have a volcano lair.

2
0

Complete with freaked out white cat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0FcOPb-9rE

1
0
Silver badge

And fill the pond with piranhas too (making sure all employees and visitors need to walk across the only bridge across it).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Burrow downwards

The donut part is just the access lift.

Underneath it's like an X-COM base.

4
0
Coat

Wasted space

Why don't they just fill in the middle?

They could easily jam in there.

[tumbleweeds]

4
0
Anonymous Coward

So many other options available..

[ ] - Fill in the middle bit, maybe even build a tower (also a good place to put aerials). James Bond fans may suggest a rocket, but they're just being silly, villains have moved on.

[ ] - Go underground. If Knightsbridge residents can, so can you.

[ ] - Add a floor to the doughnut. A topping floor, so to speak. Or spinklers.

[ ] - Provide free buses to work. Will cost less too, and is greener.

[ ] - Outsource the work. The NSA building *is* bigger..

[ ] - Spy less. No? Oh well, it was worth a try.

Yes, I'm happy to remain anonymous, thank you.

4
0
Big Brother

Re: So many other options available..

"Yes, I'm happy to remain anonymous, thank you."

Yes, I'm happy with the appearance of being anonymous, thank you.

There, FTFY.

(would have liked to use the Joke Alert icon, but sadly, Big Brother is more apropos.)

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: So many other options available..

Yes, I'm happy with the appearance of being anonymous, thank you.

It was more in line with the tongue-in-cheek of the rest of the post because yes, you are correct, El Reg has to follow the law just as much as the rest of us. If served with warrant, anonymous no longer is.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: So many other options available..

but if they fill the middle in, where will thunderbird 3 launch from?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

If this is the "public face" of the secret services, just imagine how extensive the secret bit must be...

3
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018