The situation at Wellesbourne Airfield is far from clear as Take Flight, the flying school which led the campaign to save the airfield from closure, vows to fight on even though it may be evicted at the end of this week.
Take Flight boss Mike Roberts told FLYER that he has made an application to take back to court the case which cost the flying school its lease.
“It is clear the landowners have breached the agreement made with Stratford District Council,” said Mike.
However, Take Flight is uncertain how its business will operate. “They [the landowners] have not given us any terms as to how we might operate our aircraft and some of the owners we lease from have withdrawn their aircraft in fear of reprisals or impounding,” said Mike.
A public meeting last week arranged by pilots at Wellesbourne heard from Stratford District Council’s (SDC) deputy leader Cllr Daren Pemberton who outlined the council’s position and answer questions.
Some of the pilots present said they believed the landowners were already in breach of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) drawn up between the council and landowners to allow airfield operations to continue.
Cllr Pemberton explained to the meeting that whilst SDC’s position had not changed in terms of protecting the airfield, they were legally obliged to follow a process of dialogue with the landowners before a Compulsory Purchase Order could be pursued.
He also agreed, in response to a point made by one contributor, that the parties involved needed to demonstrate ‘good faith’ and that evidence of failure to do so would be given serious consideration.
There were concerns that the MoU says that the main runway, 18/36, would be retained but cut short to 750m x 18m, rather than the existing 917m x 23m. Also, that the cross runway, 05/23, would be closed.
There were also fears expressed that the loss of Take Flight, with its 300 members and 16 aircraft, would impact on the income for both the maintenance facility and the airport cafe, reducing the airfield’s future viability.
Video report on BBC Midlands Today news here:
Meanwhile, Take Flight has relaunched an online petition, following the original petition taken down by SDC a few weeks ago.