Wellesbourne Airfield flying schools hope parliamentary support will help fight - The Leamington Observer

Wellesbourne Airfield flying schools hope parliamentary support will help fight

FLYING schools at Wellesbourne Airfield hope parliamentary support will help in their fight to stay airborne.

During a recent visit MP Jeremy Wright, whose Kenilworth and Southam constituency includes Wellesbourne, gave his backing to save the historic airfield – which owners Littler Investments wants to sell to developers.

The digital, culture and media secretary posted on Facebook: “Great to visit Wellesbourne Airfield again. I very much support its continued operation as an airfield recognising the significant historical, cultural and economic benefits it brings to our community.”

Stratford District Council has begun a compulsory purchase of the airfield to protect it from developers but businesses, which include two flight schools and a cafe, fear it could be completed too late to save them

Earlier this year businesses at the airfield lost an appeal against a decision which meant they would not have their leases renewed.

The tenants are due to leave in September but two businesses – Take Flight Aviation and Warwickshire Aviation – are planning to reappeal in a third attempt to secure their future at the site.

Take Flight owner Mike Roberts is continuing to drum up support and remains baffled by the court’s decision.

He said: “It is good to have the support of the local MP at the airfield and over 200 MPs in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for General Aviation that support the retention of airfields.

“No one can understand how the legal case to renew the tenancies has panned out as it has. How can a judge rule that the landlords have a ‘reasonable chance’ of demolishing the airfield and tenants’ buildings, when the council removed the development rights with the intention being to protect the airfield as per the local plan?

“The appeal judge stated that the principle to protect the airfield against the permanent loss of aviation facilities would be strongly justified if there was a real likelihood of the buildings being re-used in the future for aviation related purposes. Surely the authority’s CPO process is a real likelihood that the airfield will have a future for aviation.

“One can only hope that the Court of Appeal will look at this fairly taking account of all the facts.”

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