@eltonioni I think we're largely saying the same thing - but somehow you're presenting as an argument???
Change of use will normally be a planning matter.
It is quite possible that there are planning restrictions on structures on the site from the past ~50 years that require their removal and restoration - these may or may not be a planning enforcement matter depending how they were done.
Whatever promises were made in the 1940s are almost certainly not enforceable.
However in one case, the Home Office had made new restoration promises in the 1960s when getting planning application for a change of use of the site - so I suspect in practice you have to go through the full history of the site to see who has made what commitments and to whom, and whether they can still be enforced (and by whom).
This usually falls to planning officers, along with explaining to Councillors why what residents believe was promised, is not applicable.
ps: I've never sat on a planning committee
they could declare it a conservation area
Quite a few old airfields are IIRC
These sort of things usually need someone to champion making them happen - otherwise the Council will be accused of dreaming up work generation schemes to keep planning officers busy.