STRATFORD District Council has started compulsory purchase order proceedings to buy Wellesbourne Airfield.
The council has written to one of the Littler family who own of the site to inform him of its intention to commence negotiations with Littler Investments Limited with a view to purchasing and protecting Wellesbourne Airfield as a working airfield.
This is the first stage of the CPO process to give Littler Investments Limited the opportunity to engage with the council, with a view to a voluntary sale of the site.
They have until Wednesday July 11 to respond, following which if they do not engage with the council, then CPO proceedings will commence.
The Littler family put forward proposals in 2016 to build 1,500 homes on the site – but the plans were rejected by the district council.
Last week a judge ruled the seven businesses currently at the airfield would not have their leases renewed following a lengthy court battle with the Littler family.
And following the ruling the judge said the owners had a ‘reasonable prospect’ of gaining planning permission to demolish the buildings occupied by the businesses, including aviation schools, a museum and a cafe.
Speaking following the start of CPO proceedings, council leader Tony Jefferson said: “Wellesbourne Airfield is an important facility within Stratford district.
“There is a clear policy position under the district council’s adopted Core Strategy 2011-2031 that the site be preserved for aviation purposes.
“The actions of Littler Investments Limited in terminating the leases of businesses operating on the site; wishing to demolish existing buildings on the site and the agreements with Gladman Developments Limited are all in direct opposition to this policy position.
“The district council has now decided to use its compulsory purchase order powers in order to maintain the current planning use of the site.”
The council has also requested businesses on site be given temporary tenancies to preserve the livelihood of the 100 employees.