Air­fields re­prieved

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Con­fir­ma­tion that Welles­bourne Mount­ford air­field is re­prieved and maybe some hope for pop­u­lar Pans­gan­gar

Re­ten­tion and en­hance­ment of aviation ac­tiv­ity at Welles­bourne Mount­ford air­field has been sup­ported by Strat­for­don-avon District Coun­cil’s Core Strat­egy plan­ning blue­print for sus­tain­able fu­ture de­vel­op­ment in the District up to 2031, which was adopted by the Coun­cil on 11 July. The plan­ning in­spec­tor’s fi­nal re­port con­cluded that Welles­bourne air­field was un­suit­able for de­vel­op­ment due to the lack of ca­pac­ity on the high­ways net­work, the loss of air­field ac­tiv­i­ties, and land­scape im­pacts.

Leader of Strat­ford-on-avon District Coun­cil, Coun­cil­lor Chris Saint, com­mented, “Welles­bourne Air­field is an im­por­tant as­set for Welles­bourne and sur­round­ing ar­eas. The District Coun­cil has al­ways val­ued the air­field and its re­lated busi­ness and aviation fa­cil­i­ties, and has been keen to es­tab­lish this from the out­set. We have al­ways sought to pro­tect this site from de­vel­op­ment, safe­guard­ing not only the ex­ist­ing ac­tiv­i­ties but the fu­ture of the air­field and we have now been able to do so.”

Mike Roberts, Managing Director of Take Flight Aviation, the air­field’s largest fixed- wing op­er­a­tor, with a fleet of six­teen air­craft and the same num­ber of full- and part-time staff, said, “I’m de­lighted with the news and would like to ac­knowl­edge the sup­port of the Coun­cil and the cam­paign group Welles­bourne Mat­ters. I would wel­come work­ing with the Coun­cil to fol­low through the strat­egy to re­tain and en­hance the air­field. Le­gal process is now tak­ing place to re­new the busi­ness leases at the air­field. “It is also com­fort­ing to know that the Coun­cil have not ruled out com­pul­sory pur­chase should the own­ers think they can make some back door plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion by at­tempt­ing to close the air­field or change its use.”

Take Flight’s Sales and Mar­ket­ing Director Hana Smiddy added, “The cam­paign has strength­ened the bonds be­tween many of the air­fields busi­nesses [who] all con­trib­uted fi­nan­cially to the le­gal fight to save the air­field.”

Bourn Air­field, whose run­way changes we de­tailed in last month’s ‘Air­fields’ col­umn, has some hangarage avail­able. Con­tact Len Tay­lor on tel: 07768 800197 or email: rtay­lo­rand­[email protected]

A re­view by Wel­wyn and Hat­field Coun­cil of its hous­ing plans may lead to a re­prieve

for Pan­shangar air­field, the de­light­ful grass air­field in a key lo­ca­tion for sport fly­ing in north London and Hert­ford­shire un­til its forced clo­sure by the land own­ers in 2014. The de­ci­sion to re­view fol­lows strong rep­re­sen­ta­tions by the LAA and other aviation bod­ies, through the Gen­eral Aviation Aware­ness Coun­cil, lo­cal res­i­dents and Sport Eng­land.

Aerial view of Welles­bourne Mount­ford air­field, whose fu­ture is now as­sured up to 2031

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