Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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User avatar
By tomshep
#1734410
Oh, for goodness' sake. Wake up and smell the catfood. The people commanding Old Sarum are not going to be reasonable, they never were. They are on a stated "neighbours from Hell" offensive with the express intention of ensuring that the local citizens get to consider the airfield to be a noisy nuisance that ought to be closed down and they will not give an inch, being propelled by cubic money and the rapacious desire to make more of it. Furthermore, they have shown that they will stop at nothing in order to get their way.
By PlaneStupid
#1734412
Ben K wrote:
PlaneStupid wrote:We’ve always been happy for some sort of compromise, if only the owners would have given an idea of the figures required to sustain flying, I’m sure both sides could have met somewhere. However, they’ve always remained intransigent and stated it was nothing to do with anyone and their own private business.

They’ve refused to provide any kind of forward business plan - apart from building 462 houses to solve the cash flow issues.


Who is 'we'? And isn't OSAF in fact a private, commercial business...?


Of course they are a private commercial business but if they’ve using the application as an enabling development - which it is, in any other name - they need to be open about their requirements. They’ve very skilfully avoided the use of the term enablement as that commits them to figures. There has to be a profit in it for any developer - we accept that - but gross overdevelopment is not justifiable.

Anyway, this is all probably a moot point. The owners have been kicked well and truly into touch by the process and ironically, have come full circle back to where they started. Running a small grass airfield. Brilliant! Perfect result!

“We” are a group of aviators, interested parties, residents and users of OS who have watched it deliberately driven into the ground using scorched earth policy by speculators who saw an opportunity at the time of the Optica debacle.
Last edited by PlaneStupid on Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Gustosomerset
#1734427
tomshep wrote:Oh, for goodness' sake. Wake up and smell the catfood. The people commanding Old Sarum are not going to be reasonable, they never were.

Seems entirely true.
tomshep wrote:They are on a stated "neighbours from Hell" offensive with the express intention of ensuring that the local citizens get to consider the airfield to be a noisy nuisance that ought to be closed down...

Seems to be true, but that won't win them planning consent.
tomshep wrote:...and they will not give an inch, being propelled by cubic money and the rapacious desire to make more of it.

Developers tend to be capitalists, nothing surprising there.
tomshep wrote:Furthermore, they have shown that they will stop at nothing in order to get their way.

I'd say they have shown that they entirely misunderstand the opportunity to develop the site and have hence failed to get their way. Their current strategy (such that it is) will do nothing to change that.
User avatar
By tomshep
#1734435
I am not suggesting that their approach will get them their way but no amount of pontificating is going to make a scrap of difference. The airfield has been lost to recreational flying and it won't be coming back.
By Bob_pipedream
#1734475
The issues discussed here are precisely the reason why I fear the current political direction and the future of hobbies like ours.

There used to be an element of conscientiousness, social justice, community spirit and need to at least appear decent. These have all suffered under the onslaught of technology, social media and utter cacophony of high value consumer goods vying for attention.

In prior times, a person's dignity and reputation mattered, now it can be hidden behind anonymity or in the case of some - injunctions. The seven deadly sins have come back with a vengeance and greed that makes the new order very ugly indeed.

So to answer some who spoke about why run an airfield, sell a few houses and just make a few million, when you can make many more? Well in a time past, before or slightly after Yuppie 80s or greedy 10s, making a few million was enough. True philanthropy meant that doing a good thing also had its reward. Now we live in a age of Trump and accountancy where even a option that delivers a penny less profit is stupid.

Now some make millions then run off to dodge taxes, sun themselves and only pop back to use the services that they probably do not pay properly for.

Anyway, Old Sarum as an airfield can make money, can support the local community and can be a nice place for all. It is only greed and incompetency that prevents the owners from doing the right thing. Obviously they hold reputation, decency and pride cheap.
User avatar
By James Chan
#1734477
TheFarmer has it correct. The owner decided how he wants to best use his asset, and like it or not, that is his right.


Sure but he’ll need to check what's permitted / required within (planning) law.

For example I can't just knock down my own home or slice up my garden, and convert it into a block of flats, an office block, or an industrial garage to sell off. It will also upset the community.

Even if I did not change my home, there are limits to what I can do with it, or run out of it.

Similarly, I should hope he needs permission to convert it from a local airport to another type of land-use.

Or perhaps fined if proven he cannot run and keep open a designated transport facility properly.............
User avatar
By flybymike
#1734500
Or perhaps fined if proven he cannot run and keep open a designated transport facility properly....

There is no penalty in law for failing to run a profitable business. Nor can there be.
User avatar
By James Chan
#1734501
There is no penalty in law for failing to run a profitable business. Nor can there be.


Not sure what you mean by "failing to run a profitable business"?

Network Rail was fined £2m by the regulator over train delays and cancellations in 2014-15, mainly due to issues at London Bridge station.

If train stations don't work properly, then trains can't get in and out of there.
Similarly, if aerodromes don't work properly, then planes can't get in and out of there.
By cockney steve
#1734505
What you're forgetting, is the obligation on the operator ,to maintain a scheduled public transport service to which they are contracted......thus, buses ,trains and aircraft are expected to run, even if there are no passengers.
In the case of O.S. (or ,in fact, any airfield not hosting commercial scheduled flights) there is absolutely NO obligation to make the facilities available to any non-scheduled (private) flights.

That includes everything from Nanolights to biz-jets. Sorry, people, your sense of entitlement is misplaced.- just as a shop, restaurant or pub can refuse your custom if they want to. (certain conditions relating to equality and discrimination may apply,but the overriding principle is that a privately -run business can choose ,when and with whom,it chooses to trade in, within the law.
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By Gustosomerset
#1734521
The leaseholders of Old Sarum are under no obligation whatsoever to us (by which I mean the GA community) to provide any sort of transport facility (or anything else).
But they may be subject to certain obligations to their landlord (it would be very interesting to know), who in turn may be subject to conditions imposed by the previous owners (as someone mentioned in an earlier post which I can't now find).
I imagine they will also have obligations to any investors who have helped to fund their thus far disastrously mishandled planning applications.
User avatar
By James Chan
#1734525
The leaseholders of Old Sarum are under no obligation whatsoever to us (by which I mean the GA community) to provide any sort of transport facility


Sure, so this is the sort of thing that GA, local communities and the wider public needs to discuss, and lobby where needed. Otherwise the laws governing Railtrack and other transport company's obligations would have never been passed.

With the same idea, some aerodromes (which ones?) should be designated to provide a minimum service. It is a matter that involves national or regional transport policy. It should not matter whether the users are commercial businesses such as airlines and sightseeing operators, or non-commercial GA.
User avatar
By TheFarmer
#1734532
I find some of the comments here quite worrying, in the sense that it just shows how removed a lot of GA partakers are from the reality of where our hobby is heading.

James - of course you can’t just rip down your house and build what you like. O.S are just going to bide their time, not get too worried about people whingeing about their landing fee being 50p more than Compton Abbas, and whether the breakfast is £1 too expensive. They’ll slowly jump through the Planning hoops and they’ll make a killing. Probably in about 10 years time.

GA as we know it is dying. Fast. I keep saying it, and I know I’m right. Nobody will build new airfields for the likes of us, and the pressures on how justifiable our hobby is from a noise and carbon footprint perspective will only rise over time.

We are also to blame. A certain government decided about 15 years ago that everyone should be able to have everything. People expected everything to be cheaper and they started feeling entitled to it. Flying became something that people were not prepared to pay a realistic price for, and the result is an industry that’s behind the times, using dated hardware, bullied around by red tape, and going nowhere fast. Any green shoots of resurgence are little more than a dead cat bounce.

There will always be the grass strips, the helipads, the small microlight schools, and the flight schools who are so efficient that they can scrape a margin from one of the few remaining functioning airfields. But if I was 22 years old and took a look around a typical UK GA airfield today, I’d see a tumbleweed world that wouldn’t entice me in at all, and I’d look at sailing, motorsports etc to keep me busy at weekends. With an average age in the flying club bar of the typical retired person, it’s hardly the place that a young thrusting entrepreneur wants to take his girlfriend (or boyfriend) if he’s just spent an hour in a 1960’s Cessna 152 with 1970’s avionics and 1980’s seat covers.

As I keep saying, airfields are perfect for development, and the return from them is quite literally pathetic when considered in terms of return on capital employed.

By demanding cheaper and cheaper flying, we have been instrumental in killing off our own fraternity.
Sooty25, seanxair, smokescreen and 7 others liked this
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