Compulsory Purchase Order for Wellesbourne

Stratford-on-Avon District Council is living up to its promise to safeguard Wellesbourne Airfield and has begun compulsory purchase order (CPO) proceedings for the site.

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 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.”

The District Council has also requested that the businesses on site be given temporary tenancies to preserve the livelihood of the 100 employees (44 full-time and 60 part-time).


  1. Fantastic news. I dearly hope this will safeguard the airfield and the livelihoods of those working there 🙂

  2. Fantastic news. A Council with guts. Well done and good luck with the CPO. Love EGBW. Great place.

  3. I hope this move will encourage the owners to act in a decent manner. There was never any need to ignore the requests of the businesses, who were forced to challenge in the court. A decision by a Judge has resulted in more expensive legal costs to challenge his injustice. This has to continue as there is no guarantee that the owners and developers will offer to keep aviation alive until they actually get planning permission. They may not even engage in any discussions, and from past experience they all have demonstrated no love of aviation.
    Aviation at this site has provided them with a good income, lets all stick together to try to encourage a settlement fair to both sides.
    Aviation and the rich heritage of this former world war 2 airfield must be preserved for our future generations.

  4. Thank goodness for the realistic foresight of the local authority. As one who used to fly from and have an aircraft based at Wellesbourne I applaud SDC. As a ratepayer of SDC I also support their action.

  5. Well done Stafford district council a very common sense approach indeed
    safeguarding an asset for future generations

  6. We need more councils to show guts like this and protect over 40 airfields under threat of closure. The MOD also needs to be taken to task over the 15 airfields they are about to sell for housing. They claim for example no one has put a bid in for Colerne. Yet they refuse to talk to people who try, and so does the council. When they discover that they cannot actually build on many of these ex RAF airfields due to all the stuff buried under the ground, such as seems to have happened at Filton, then maybe some of them may be re-activated. But once all the kit that makes an airfield work such as fire engines has gone, then it is very expensive to start again. Our aircraft industry has been killed off. We need councils like SDC to protect GA so we do not end up with anywhere to fly to and end up with GA being killed off as well.

  7. What fantastic news! Well done SDC!
    I’m a GA pilot and flew into Wellesbourne last in June 2018.
    It’s a vibrant place with a treasured aviation heritage.
    I hope this will open the eyes of other District and County Council’s to the need to safeguard historic airfields and GA airfields under the threat of closure.

  8. Fantastic news, Wellesbourne is a great airfield and one of my favourite destinations.

  9. This is fantastic news – if only more councils followed suit. I did my first QXC to Wellesbourne a few years ago, so I’ve got fond memories of it and I’d hate it see it close down.

  10. Brilliant, a District Council that can look into the future with a remit in the planning that goes further than yet more houses. One that understands how airfield bring jobs along with footfall and so enhance the economy rather than dormitories with negligible facilities for those that actually work outside the district. I should point my own district council in their direction.

  11. Great news but your help is required! THAT IS EVERYONE IN GA, PLEASE HELP! Compulsory purchase will take time, so in the meantime, the tenant businesses are also trying to raise funds to appeal the judge’s decision to go against Stratford Council wishes to retain Wellesbourne as a viable airfield. They are trying to raise £100, 000 to fund the judicial appeal through crowdfunding. For more information, please see If the tenant businesses – flying schools, café, Vulcan bomber preservation society etc etc can win this, it will form a good precedent for other threatened airfields. Please support it. I am only a ‘newby’ PPL learner at Wellesbourne, and I can see what a tremendous, friendly airfield this is, so please, all flying enthusiasts, help!!

  12. Great news re the CPO. Wellesbourne is a regular, welcoming destination – long
    may it continue.

  13. Good news for a change !
    Good luck to them and I only wish that the council lording over HUCKNALL AIRFIELD had had the same attitude in 2014 – they and sadly Rolls-Royce PLC could not have cared less about us and the huge RR heritage of the airfield and its usefulness. That council is the terrible ASHFIELD DC
    One of the most useless and corrupt in the UK !!!

  14. Wellesboune Mountfield holds very special memories for me, I learnt to fly there with the South Warwickshire Flying School in 1986 and flew regularly from there until 1994, I’ve been back in a few times since on specific milestones… to log 1000, 5000 and 9300 hours TT and have a decent breakfast. Really pleased to see that it’s being supported by the local council.

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