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5th Jul, 2022

Appeal against airfield business ruling to go ahead

AIRFIELD business owners are on cloud nine after hearing they can appeal a decision which would have forced them to leave the site.

Permission has been granted to those at Wellesbourne Airfield to appeal against a court ruling to end their tenancies.

The business tenants – which include flight schools, a cafe and a museum – applied to appeal following a lengthy court battle with site owner Littler Investments which wants to sell the land for development.

Although Stratford District Council stepped in to make a Compusory Purchase Order of the site, businesses would have been turfed out this month had the appeal been rejected.

Touchdown Cafe Owner Matthew Timms said: “It’s absolutely wonderful news. It’s such a relief and has been a long time coming.

“It’s clear the original decision was wrong and misguided – I don’t think the judge realised the national scale of it. The country is not going to build anymore airfields so we can’t afford to lose this one. You can’t replace heritage – it’s not just the aviation that would be lost but the memory of the people who trained here during the war, some who didn’t make it back.

“If we had lost the owners could have let the site mothball, stopped or thwarted aviation and knocked down the buildings.

“We’re a million miles away from that now, the airfield will stay as an airfield and thanks to the appeal we can make sure there’s no break in service.

“The businesses are ticking on nicely and thriving. We’ve had nothing but support from everybody.”

So far legal costs have totalled some £200,000 and a crowdfunding drive was launched shortly after the ruling in June to support appeal costs which businesses expect to be a six figure sum.

More than £2,000 was stolen from the fighting fund on site last month but donations have since continued to trickle in, raising more than a third of the £100k target.

A music event ‘Frankie Says Save Wellesbourne Airfield’ aims to boost funds at the Charelcote Pheasant Hotel on Friday October 12.

Tickets priced £22 include a t-shirt, quiz, barbecue, and a raffle.

Visit eventbrite.co.uk and search Wellesbourne Airfield to book.

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