Not good news at all for Wellesbourne residents

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https://leamingtonobserver.co.uk/new...es-judge-7305/
Original post
Profile picture for user 1batfastard

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Hi All, I think the Littler family are in for a long fight over this, the council ruled in favour once yet the judge in his infinite wisdom tells them they will win in the end ? What's that all about does he know something that those fighting against the closure and the SDC don't know ? Surely if a case has been ruled one way and the local council supports the decision by saying it will make a compulsory purchase to save it, why have the Littlers been given hope by this other judge ? I mean the council are basically the government or can a judge overrule the government ? Geoff.

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Geoff I think it's a statute law / case law thing. Two different ways of looking at it, as far as I can remember from my halcyon (beer infused) days of further education. I am sure that somebody on the forum can explain it better than me, but from what I can remember (not a lot) the local authority can do many things using statute law (pass a bill, regulation etc), whereas a judge makes a legal decision which can be binding? Either way, being in a state of limbo is no good for anyone.
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Hi All, MayhemMarshy - Thanks for clearing that up, I agree with the state of limbo just not good all around...:stupid: Geoff.

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Pretty fundamental to democracy that the judiciary can overrule the government. God help all of us the day they can no longer do so......

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The Council can compulsory purchase the airfield but they would have to pay a fair price based on an independent valuation.That value would be based on the current planning permissions ,not on the owners hope value ,but could take some time to settle. If the owners challenge it they could in the meantime close the existing businesses down and demolish buildings. However a bigger threat is the government pressure on councils to build more houses,and the council may weaken if it can't meet the government targets elsewhere.

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heli1 is bang on with the analysis. The designation of airfields as brownfield sites, in planning terms, in the majority of cases should, I believe, be regarded as incorrect and makes them easy targets for development proposals. In particular, smaller airfields are often grassed for the majority of the site and any industrial processes are confined to smaller areas of the land. As heli1 says, local councils are under a tremendous amount of pressure to provide housing which meet the targets set out by the government. Brownfield sites are identified as the preferred choice of site, being that it recycles previously used ground, which prevents pockets of decay and prevents urban creep in to the countryside. These sites often will have disused buildings and contaminated ground to contend with which can be expensive to deal with, which from a developers point of view, makes an airfield attractive in comparison. It could also be said that airfields provide a large site which, will provide a good percentage of the required housing, which make it attractive from a government point of view. They also allow flexibility from a community infrastructure point of view, having space to provide shops, school, doctors etc, which many smaller sites can't offer, so there is less pressure on existing services within the community. Discussions were supposed to be ongoing regarding the brownfield/greenfield status of airfields after the last major debate in 2015, but I have heard nothing since. If the airfield is active, I was under the impression that local councils were to support the industrial aspect, the community value, leisure value and link to other areas. Sadly as of December 2017, 15 of the 96 remaining UK airfields were under the threat of development. Pilot magazine has a small article: http://www.pilotweb.aero/news/wellesbourne-airfield-development-threat-1-5578282

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Once the vampires have got their teeth into the land it's all over. Doesn't matter how many times the local council turns down planning permission, they'll keep coming back till the decision ends up with the Secretary of State who will, of course, grant the appeal. Get down to Wellesbourne soonest if you want to see XM655. The guys there told me it would be cut up if they couldn't renew the lease. Meanwhile, google Gladman Estates if you want to find who are the real villains of the piece.
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Hi All, I don't know about anybody else and where they are living but in Leamington Spa/Warwick in actual fact across Warwickshire they are granting planning for more and more housing despite calls for it to stop. It seems to me that councils in general are unlike S.OA. council just ignoring what the local population think of any planning development and how it affects the populations lives or indeed if there is such a need for whatever they want to build. One local project as an example:-A new council office block planned to be built on a site occupied by a car park block in a town that has had central parking squeezed to death, especially when the offices in use at the moment are not that old and could easily be refurbished and leave the car parking where it is needed. Geoff.

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Don't want to go too far off topic here but the views of local people are being totally ignored when it comes to planning permission. The people at the top (by which I mean the Government) are in the pockets of the developers who've managed to sell the lie that it's nimbys who are getting in the way of there being enough houses to go round.
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The Guy who owns the Airfield also owns the Vulcan.
Profile picture for user 1batfastard

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Hi All, You know it makes no sense him Owning the Vulcan/Restoring to taxiable condition/Operating it along with MAPS volunteers and wanting to put a stop to it's activity's on the airfield.....:confused: I can only assume it's for profit nothing more. My worry is that if he cannot get what he wants for the Vulcan (if he is successful with the housing when he applies) he would rather get scrap value than let it go to a new home should somebody come up with a feasible plan to save it if the unthinkable happens. Geoff.
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How much does he want for the Vulcan? Presumably it would have to be trucked out in sections and reassembled, so would it still be able to run after that? Bruntingthorpe would be a good venue for it if that were to be the case!

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10 years 9 months

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Just to add to the planning debate. It can be argued that only the developed area of Wellesbourne is brown field.Any undeveloped areas of grassland could still be held to be greenfield,especially if They have been mown/baled for hay over the years....and there is a parliamentary group trying to argue the green field status at present. Aahh...Gladman...know them well .Thry work on a no win no fee basis,employ young cheap undergraduates to make their planning arguments...refuse to properly consult with locals.."This is what we are going to do ...like it or lump it"...and interpret the planning laws to suit their arguments ,but they can be beaten...they don't always win,even when they do come back after a planning refusal.

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The airfield is owned by the family and each member owns their own bit. Not all the family share the same views regarding selling up and indeed support the airfields activities and 655. You could move the aircraft but it wouldn't run again.

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The way it works is, Gladman Estates (so-called 'land promoters') go round the country identifying plots of land that might be built on. They approach the landowner and offer to do the leg-work to obtain planning permission for the land on the basis of a fee if it's obtained. When planning permission is granted - as it virtually always is, after several appeals - the developers become involved, buy the land from the landowner and, the next thing you know, you've got God knows how many houses being built on the land. Can you blame the landowner? Not really. They only have to sit back and wait for Gladman to do their stuff and they're quids in. XM655 is toast. You could say the vampires did for the Vulcan.
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I agree with the notion that airfields aren't brownfield sites. When I think of brownfield sites I imagine areas with heavy soil contamination. The incentive for developers is to buy dirty land at a knock-down cost, and eat the cost of cleaning the place up. The Parsons Peebles site in Edinburgh was apparently badly contaminated with heavy metals, to the point that developers stripped away a foot or so of topsoil. Allegedly! I guess that, beyond removing a few buried Spitfires, this isn't necessary for airfields, as intense oil and metal contamination would only occur in a few locations? Maybe pay an ecologist to do a survey of the grassy areas and see if they find anything unusual and protected? Is there some other designation you could slap on airfields? Developers must love airfields as they are flat, usually near good transport infrastructure, and typically in pleasant countryside. How do you fight that?
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Not yet time to give up hope:
Stratford-uponAvon Herald wrote: The District Council has written to Mr M Littler one of the owners of the site to inform him of the District Council’s intention to commence negotiations with Littler Investments Limited with a view to purchasing and protecting Wellesbourne Airfield as a working airfield. This is the first stage of the CPO process to give Littler Investments Limited the opportunity to engage with the District Council, with a view to a voluntary sale of the site. They have until Wednesday 11 July to respond to this, following which if they do not engage with the District Council then CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order) proceedings will commence. Cllr Tony Jefferson, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council said: “Wellesbourne Airfield is an important facility within Stratford-on-Avon District. There is a clear policy position under the District Council’s adopted Core Strategy 2011-2031 that the site be preserved for aviation purposes. The actions of Littler Investments Limited in terminating the leases of businesses operating on the site; wishing to demolish existing buildings on the site and the agreements with Gladman Developments Limited are all in direct opposition to this policy position. The District Council has now decided to use its Compulsory Purchase Order powers in order to maintain the current planning use of the site.”
Moggy
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That is good news. Thank you Moggy.