New proposals for the redevelopment of Old Sarum Airfield have been announced today (22nd June 2022).
Directors at Old Sarum Airfield say the new plans for the historic WWI airfield will ensure the landmark heritage site is restored and its long-term future secured.
The proposals take into consideration the views of the Planning Inspector, Historic England and Mr. Justice Knowles.
According to the directors, during Mr Justice Robin Knowles’ Judicial Review in 2020 it was clear that with care, a commitment to quality and a constructive approach by the parties involved, an outcome involving some appropriate development could be achieved.
The Planning Inspector also stated, “I hope that both parties will work together to find an acceptable way forward for this site in the context of the spirit of the terms of the Development Plan policy, delivering the identified benefits for residents and preserving and enhancing this nationally important heritage asset, whilst fulfilling its potential of revitalising the flying field, paying respectful homage to its past and embracing its future firmly based in a continuation of flying from the Airfield.”
During the Judicial Review Wiltshire Council reportedly testified that, other than heritage, all reasons for its refusal were resolved at the planning appeal.
Consequently, the owners of Old Sarum Airfield, with their architectural and heritage teams have been working with Historic England for the last 18 months and the pre-application discussions with them have outlined a way forward that would protect and celebrate this historical site.
The careful development of some of the excess land not used for airfield purposes will enable the renovation of the historic Grade II* WW1 Hangar 3 and investment in the airfield facilities to allow long-term viable flying operations but with binding controls over the airfield’s current unrestricted rights to noise.
Directors at Old Sarum Airfield say that “both key principles have always been at the heart of the proposals.”
The directors of Old Sarum have reiterated their commitment to engage with the local community, ward councillor, Wiltshire Council and other key stakeholders to ensure the best possible proposals are put forward for consideration, and revised plans will be widely shared ahead of an application being submitted.
Grenville Hodge, Director of Old Sarum Airfield, said, “Our plans have always been designed to secure the long-term future viability of the airfield as well as to protect and enhance this historical site. That position hasn’t changed. We have been working with key heritage experts and Historic England and believe that the change in approach we have discussed will enable us to find a way forward that is appropriate to ensure the safeguarding of this nationally important site – for current residents and future generations.
“We now look forward to sharing the plans with the public and engaging with the Council on this important next step.”
Details of the plans and public consultation events will be available in due course here.