21st Mar, 2019

Council chiefs start process for compulsory purchase of Wellesbourne Airfield

Ian Hughes 12th Mar, 2019 Updated: 12th Mar, 2019

COUNCIL chiefs have launched proceedings to buy Wellesbourne Airfield.

Stratford District Council’s ruling cabinet this week approved a report giving authority to implement a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to buy the airfield.

The council recently agreed to spend £1.1million on legal costs for the CPO to secure the future of the historic airfield, which opened in 1941 during the Second World War. The actual purchase price of the airfield is not yet known.

But they remain hopeful a voluntary sale agreement can still be reached with the long-time owners Littler Investments, who had been looking to sell the land to developers.

The council has been negotiating with the landowner about the possible voluntary sale of the land – a legal requirement before any CPO can be launched.

And the council has also identified a potential future operator of the airfield, in partnership with the council, which would provide a financial return.

District property spokeswoman Coun Lynda Organ said: “This is the next major milestone in the CPO process. Negotiations have been ongoing with the owners, which is all part of the CPO process, for the voluntary acquisition of the order land.

“However the CPO will now run in parallel to the negotiations in order to guarantee acquisition of the land and safeguard its operational use.

“The order land is an important employment site, of which there is a shortage within the district, supporting a number of local jobs.”

Meanwhile businesses at the airfield – including flying schools and a cafe – are waiting to hear what the future holds for them as they continue the fight to get their tenancies renewed.

They are waiting to hear the results of an appeal – expected shortly – launched after a judge ruled in favour of the landlord’s decision not to renew the leases.

If the businesses lose the appeal, they would have three months to leave the site.

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