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