Enstone Airfield faces runway closure

Enstone Airfield is currently battling a planning application which would lead to the closure of its main runway.

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The airfield is situated on land owned by Jersey-basedcompany Lomand Holdings, whose sister company Leven Holdings owns much of theindustrial land to the south and east of Enstone’s runways. If the applicationwas granted, the proposed development would span its main runway – and EnstoneAirfield says it would be forced to close.

 

In the planning application, which is lodged with WestOxfordshire District Council, Lomand Holdings states that the development wouldhave minimal on the airfield and its clubs: “Although the proposed developmentinvolves a middle section of the main runway it should not affect the flyingrights of the Clubs that operate from within the Great Tew Estate or from theestablished grass strip north of the main runway.”

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Paul Fowler, of Enstone Flying Club, says “It is clear toall that the positioning of this development is designed to close the mainrunway. Having achieved this, the airfield will no longer be classed as an airfield,allowing it to be developed further.” He attributes the application to a“cunning plan” on Lomand’s part: “They are unlikely to actually do any actualbuilding, but planning consent is all they need to sell the site on to adeveloper.”

 

Enstone is home to four flying clubs – all of which will beaffected by the plans if they are successful. The airfield, which is renownedfor its friendly welcome and central location, is fighting the plans – and isappealing for the UK’s GA pilots to support its cause. Objection emails shouldbe sent as soon as possible to planning@westoxon.gov.uk.The planners are only interested in planning/safety issues (not emotional pleas),for example: the loss of a nationally important airfield and one of the last GAairfields of its type left in Oxfordshire; the safety issues relating to thestructures located on the centre line and next to active runways.

 

To see the full proposal, visithttp://planning.westoxon.gov.uk/MVM/Online/PL/ApplicationSearch.aspx(application no. 11/0607/P/OP)

 

 

The area marked in blue on the above map is owned by LomandHoldings. Leven Holdings owns much of the site to the south and east of therunways. Enstone Airfield authorities have identified at least threealternative positions for the development (three of which are marked here inred)

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