A FLYING club has quit Wellesbourne Airfield claiming the site including the runway was in serious need of repair.
Aeros Flight Training – which was founded in 1986 – made the announcement to members with a ‘heavy heart’. The branch has relocated to Coventry Airport at Baginton.
The airfield has been the subject of much controversy in recent years after proposals were put forward in 2016 to build 1,500 homes on the site – but the plans were rejected by Stratford District Council.
But businesses which call the airfield home are still involved in a legal battle to extend their leases and secure their future at the site, which the Littler Family has owned since 1965 after buying it from the RAF.
Aeros club chairman Tom Dunn said: “We have become increasingly concerned with the extremely slow pace of the legal process and the alarming fast pace of the erosion of the runways and taxiways.
“Aeros accommodation has fallen way below the standard that our customers have come to expect and the landlords have clearly stopped addressing all but essential repairs.”
Some members took to Facebook to voice their disappointment.
One responded: “It’s sad to see the owners of the airfield slowly winning the battle”.
But another believed there was still a future for the remaining flying clubs at Wellesbourne, adding: “The airfield has a lot to offer and there are a lot of airfields with worse surface conditions than Wellesbourne’s.”
Mike Roberts, managing director of Take Flight, also based at the airfield, said the taxiways and runways were recently repaired and were inspected regularly, but added there was improvement work which could be done.
He said: “Some of the buildings might need a bit of work but I think the family is reluctant to make repairs to some of the buildings since they’re awaiting the outcome of the legal case.
“As for us, we’re going nowhere, we have 300 members and 16 planes and we’re hoping to expand.”
The Observer has not yet been able to contact the airfield owners for a comment.
The airfield’s history stretches back to 1941 when the Government bought 200 acres of farmland. RAF Wellesbourne Mountford was a training centre for British and Commonwealth aircrews during the Second World War, turning out pilots, navigators, wireless operators and air gunners.