Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By Sooty25
#1709223
with nothing at Govt level really being done to step in at Plymouth, the likelyhood of Old Sarum being repossessed for the sake of GA is slim.

However, with Wellesbourne being compulsory purchased, there is a precedent if is saves employment. I don't know what the actual arguments were that convinced the local authority at Wellesbourne to act, but maybe that is the route Old Sarum tenants should use.

Or join forces and try to form a co-operative to buy the place as it stands. If there is no indication that planning will be forthcoming for housing, and there are covenants requiring it remains an airfield, they might just be happy to off load it.
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By David Wood
#1709224
tomshep wrote:25 and all the Shadows or thereabouts.

And a couple of flying schools, and a busy parachute operation, and a rather wonderful museum full of old aeroplanes. :cry:
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By CloudHound
#1709230
The owners’ hope value vs real world neglected airfield price may be an uncloseable gap.

You’d need a very optimistic determined negotiator. Just a minute I think I know of one....
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User avatar
By David Wood
#1709231
David Wood wrote:
tomshep wrote:and a rather wonderful museum full of old aeroplanes.


It has been pointed out to me that the BDAC museum is NOT affected by this development since the hangar that it is in is not part of the wider airfield property. Apologies for peddling inaccurate information.
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By Sooty25
#1709266
to be honest, I've done a bit of reading on it and all I can really gather is that the owners have been screwed about for the last 12 years by their local council.

Now they've just said, "sod it, we've had enough, just shut it".

Of what I've read the owners seem to have been trying to make something of it. Is that not it?
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By tomshep
#1709273
Not really. Any money the airfield made went into planning apeals and it was allowed to decay. The council were unwilling to allow development on the proposed scale. The owners considered the airfield to be a necessary evil that came with the land, but had they been
given the go ahead they would have had to build the airfield infrastructure first. A new tower was amongst these requirements. Their attitude towards the council was not calculated to ingratiate and they lost any goodwill some time ago. Residents of Ford campaigned against the development but probably didn't want the airfield either. They are laughing.
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By PlaneStupid
#1709372
I can assure you that the residents of Ford DIDN’T ever want the closure of OSAF. We knowing bought houses next to an active 100 year old airfield because we enjoyed the spectacle and the history of the site. We fought the developers - because that’s all Hodge and Hudson are, however they try and fluff it - long and hard. We knew once the rot had set in and the 462 houses were built, it was only a matter of time before there were complaints from the occupants of the new dwellings and the writing would have been on the wall for the airfield completely.

There has been a history of intimidation to those that have tried to oppose this scheme. Solicitors letters, fires lit by the airfield manager very close to residents fences that back onto the site etc.

https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news ... ily-homes/

I have many friends who are ex pilots from OS who have told me there has been a policy to hound them out and run down operations for years. One was told to vacate immediately by the manager, despite the terms requiring two weeks notice from either side. He was actually told, “If you don’t like it, you can p*** off to Compton Abbas. There’s plenty of other airfield around here.”

Hudson and Hodge could find literally millions to fund their planning application and are on record as having sent £3.3 million buying off a local company on the neighbouring industrial estate that they saw as an obstacle to their objectives, but plead poverty and lack of funds to even repair the Grade 2* listed hangar.

What a bunch of....
User avatar
By Ben K
#1709410
Sooty25 wrote:to be honest, I've done a bit of reading on it and all I can really gather is that the owners have been screwed about for the last 12 years by their local council.

Now they've just said, "sod it, we've had enough, just shut it".

Of what I've read the owners seem to have been trying to make something of it. Is that not it?


David Wood sums up the situation far better than I could earlier in this thread. Suffice to say that the situation now has gotten somewhat personal and adversarial on at least one side of the debate; I am amazed at some of what has been said about the airfield owners and managers on the Save Old Sarum Facebook group.

That same group makes for interesting reading. There's currently a comment on their "we won!" post where a couple of active OS pilots have implied that if the airfield has indeed not been profitable for years, then blocking the plan to get it back into the black might well result in the airfield owners going "sod it" as you say. Their (the pilots) comments have been roundly dismissed by some of the main proponents of the SOS group.

Others may have different opinions on the whole situation; but whatever the core truth of the matter, I personally have very fond memories of working, flying, and socialising at OS for the past 13 years, and will dearly miss it if it closes.
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By Genghis the Engineer
#1709428
I think that if I bought a popular 90 year old local amenity from the comfort of my office in the Carribean, and kept trying to close it and build houses on it - I would expect to be "screwed around" too! That would apply to many things, not just an airfield.

G
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By ChampChump
#1709458
Are the economics of buying and running the airfield worth some fag packet maths? I know I'm naive and have zero business experience worth counting, but just wondering. If villages can save their shops, post offices and pubs, could a flying community save an airfield? Are the numbers simply too eye-watering to consider?

Okay, that last is rhetorical.
User avatar
By Genghis the Engineer
#1709462
I suspect that the numbers are fine if the only option on the table is to run it as an airfield.

If it's a choice between that, and turning it into housing - we'd not have a hope.

G
By Bob Upanddown
#1709466
Panshanger again?

Can't build here mate, there is an airfield. Wot airfield? Go ahead then.

There are grass airfields that make a living. Isn't this more to do with the value of the return against the value of the land? 800m airstrip on farm land miles from anywhere that anyone would want to build would be cheap to buy and so cheap to run against the price paid to buy the land.

I would guess purchasing the land at Old Sarum would cost any non-profit flying co-operative and arm and a leg several times over so they would have to end up charging silly prices for landings to make ends meet.

Thats why the APPG says the system is broken, is it not?
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