15th Apr, 2021

Wellesbourne Airfield negotiations still ongoing

NEGOTIATIONS are continuing between Stratford district chiefs and the owner of Wellesbourne airfield.

Stratford District Council’s Cabinet discussed the current position on the Compulsory Purcharse Order (CPO) of the site, which aims to preserve general aviation, at a recent meeting.

The council says the purchase order is still on pause as negotiations continue with owner Littler Investments. These centre around the repositioning of the runway and aviation facilities to provide a more sustainable airfield while releasing parts of the site for development.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), or agreement, has been put in place between the council and the owner to ensure aviation continues at the site while negotiations are ongoing, and all but one of the businesses have been granted new tenancies.

District council leader Tony Jefferson said: “The actions of the council to date have ensured that aviation has continued at Wellesbourne. Continuing negotiations, whilst maintaining Compulsory Purchase Order options has given us the best chance of achieving the desired outcome in this matter.”

The council says allegations put forward by flying school Take Flight – the only business not to be invited to renew its tenancy – that the MoU has been breached, have not affected its role in continuing aviation.

It maintains terminating the agreement would jeopardise aviation at the airfield and be against the public interest.

Coun Jefferson also revealed the government’s Department for Transport had shown a keen interest in the future of the airfield.

He added: “They see Wellesbourne as a key part of the secondary airfield network and are working with us to secure its long term future.

“Under the MoU, we paused the CPO process whilst constructive negotiations were ongoing, providing that aviation was continuing. To date this has been the case and we are actively engaging with the owners and their agents to find a mutually acceptable solution for the long term future of the site. However, if it is not possible to agree a solution it will be necessary to progress with CPO proceedings.”

A budget of £1million has been set aside to fund the necessary CPO work, and is still being maintained to support further CPO proceedings should they be needed.

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