Old Sarum’s owners win legal case

The owners of Old Sarum say they are trying to preserve the airfield, but were unjustly attacked by

The owners of Old Sarum say they are trying to preserve the airfield, but were unjustly attacked by a local councillor with inaccurate statements - Credit: PHOTO: OLD SARUM

The owners of Old Sarum are trying to preserve the airfield, but were unjustly attacked by a local councillor with inaccurate statements

Labour Wiltshire Councillor, Ian McLennan of Laverstock, Ford & Old Sarum ward has made a public apology to the Directors of Old Sarum Airfield. This comes after a long period of inaccurate statements and quotes on social media, as well as news stories within the mainstream media, which the Directors at Old Sarum felt needed to be addressed.

Councillor McLennan’s statement said: “Over the course of last year (2020), I made various comments on Facebook, Twitter, and the Salisbury Journal website in response to concerns raised about the operation of Old Sarum Airfield, and the condition of Hangar 3 in particular. Hangar 3 is a Grade II* Listed property. Some of those comments referred to Grenville Hodge and Matthew Hudson in connection with the current condition of Old Sarum Airfield. I understand from Mr Hodge and Mr Hudson that my comments have caused them personal offence and distress. I would like to sincerely apologise for any offence or distress caused to them by my comments – it was certainly not my intention to do so. All relevant comments have now been deleted and I am sorry if those comments have contributed to any misunderstandings about Mr Hodge and Mr Hudson’s intentions and actions relating to Old Sarum Airfield”.

The statement also discussed the prospects of the airfield by saying: “Mr Hodge and Mr Hudson have made a significant personal and financial commitment to the continuation of Old Sarum Airfield over the last thirty years. I understand that [they] are keen to restore the condition of the site, and Hangar 3 in particular, in order to protect the heritage of the airfield. I am sorry if my comments have in any way misconstrued their intentions towards the preservation of Old Sarum Airfield and Hangar 3. I welcome the prospect of future co-operation with them and the local community to try and identify ways to restore the property and leave a lasting legacy, for future generations.”

Matthew Hudson said, “We have sought, through legal process, the clarification and correction of misinformation and inaccurate comments through the media and social media as circulated by Councillor McLennan and are delighted that our position has been upheld and Councillor McLennan has publicly acknowledged his actions and mistakes. Our intentions remain completely focused on protecting the airfield and heritage assets. We also look forward to working with our ward councillor and other members of Wiltshire Council to ensure a long term sustainable future is achieved for the Old Sarum airfield.”