Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:04 pm #1709475
Ben K wrote: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.
The whole thing is very sad, Ben. Speaking for local residents and an aviation fan myself, we always recognised that there was room for compromise and had acceptance of some moderate development. However, it seemed that the owners were intransigent in their wish to go for maximum housing numbers. They refused to consult with the local community and indeed, when they were asked by the parish council about financial figures and requirements, they were unwilling to divulge any information.
Without going into too many specifics, there was also a confrontational approach from the other side too. “ If we don’t get our planning permission, we won’t hold back on elevated noise, increased flying or selling to a high density developer. “ If they could so easily expand activity, why didn’t they do just that, rather than go through the costly, risky and protracted planning process?
Certain individuals made pointed comments to objectors about “knowing where you live” and “I’ve got my eye on you” and I, myself received a letter via a solicitor trying to “educate” me on some facts. A totally unnecessary and frankly rather pathetic attempt to silence me - particularly when the originator could have either picked up the phone or written to me on his own headed paper rather than hiding behind a legal firm, unless of course , it was an attempt to intimidate me?
One of the owners, who has apparently lent many millions of pounds over the years to support OSAF has, according to an agent from the airfield, at the public enquiry, visited the site exactly TWICE in the last decade! Curious that, the same benevolent investor didn’t even either attend or if unable to, issue some sort of personal statement of support which would seem rather insouciant having heavily invested in such a business.
I have string aviation connections in my family and would wish to see OSAF fly for perpetuity. Personally, I never felt these investors had the real interests of Old Sarum at heart and their actions by closing down the operation in a fit of pique shows their true feelings towards those that are real aviators.
If Compton Abbas , little more than 25 miles away, can run a thriving business with a waiting list for pilots and hangarage, why couldn’t OSAF with all that Salisbury has to offer on the doorstep be equally as successful?