Released on 13 July 2016 Archived News
Local campaigners can celebrate with the news that the retention and enhancement of aviation activity at Wellesbourne Airfield is supported by Stratford-on-Avon District Council's adopted Core Strategy.
The Core Strategy document - the planning blueprint for sustainable future development in the District up to 2031 was adopted at the District Council's full Council meeting on Monday 11 July.
Cllr Chris Saint, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council says: “Wellesbourne Airfield is an important asset for Wellesbourne and the 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."
Cllr Dave Riches, Enterprise and Revenues Portfolio added: “This is great news. Around the country small, General Aviation airfields are at threat and it's important that we strive to protect them. Hopefully now, we can support the airfield to sustain its existing social and economic benefits and work towards improving them. Exciting times! “The authority is really taking on a dynamic stance with regards to business, with the recent opening of Venture House, and its related hot-desking facilities and other, innovative projects perhaps some of these ideas can be discussed now with Wellesbourne Airfield in mind. “While we appreciate the airfield residents may still have challenges ahead, this should send a clear signal that the authority is more than supportive of the facility."
The 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. The Inspector also concluded that 'On the evidence before the examination it is by no means clear that the lawful use of the airfield would be extinguished by the notice that has been served.'
Following the announcement that local businesses at Wellesbourne Airfield had received eviction notices at the end of 2015, Stratford-on-Avon District Council has been looking at ways to offer support to those on the site.
The District Council has consistently supported the established activities at Wellesbourne Airfield. In response to representations made by Wellesbourne Matters it put forward a more positive statement about the role of the airfield at the time of plan submission in September 2014. This approach was formally endorsed at the Full Council meeting in June 2015. The published main modifications to Policy AS.9 (the Area Strategy for Wellesbourne) confirm an intention to: 'Retain and support the enhancement of the established flying functions and aviation related facilities at Wellesbourne Airfield.', which has now been endorsed by the examination inspector.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575