A military vehicle at the scene near St Michael Avenue, Plymouth, where residents have been evacuated and a cordon put in place following the discovery of a suspected Second World War explosive device. Friday February 23, 2024. Credit: PA Wire/Ben Birchall

Army experts are removing an unexploded bomb from Plymouth sparking one of the largest peacetime evacuations since the second world war.

A military convoy is transporting the bomb, which was found in a garden, through the city to the ferry terminal where it will be disposed of at sea.

Anyone living within 300 metres of the route was told to leave at 2pm on Friday. It is expected that residents should be able to return by around 5pm.

Devon and Cornwall Police were called on Tuesday morning to St Michael Avenue in the Keyham area of the city after the device was found.

Residents were evacuated and a 300 metre cordon was put in place around the site, with over 3,000 people affected. Homeowners were told their homes would be destroyed if it detonated.

The evacuation came after bomb disposal experts from the Army and Navy assessed the device and authorities decided “least impactful option is to remove the device from St Michael Avenue and travel to the Torpoint Ferry slipway – for the bomb to be disposed of at sea”.

Earlier today, a Plymouth city council spokeswoman said: “It is a very complex situation, and a number of factors need to be considered by the members of the resilience forum, alongside the overriding objective of people’s safety, including damage to property and impact on underground utilities.”

This is a developing story, we will bring you more details as they come. Please refresh the page to receive the latest updates.