According to the Salisbury Journal (www.salisburyjournal.co.uk), ‘airfield boss’ Grenville Hodge has said that if his plans for limited housing development on part of the ‘brownfield’ site failed, the owners would close the airfield and bring in high-volume house builders.
Made in a letter addressed to a senior council planning officer, Mr Hodge’s threat follows mounting opposition to plans for 470 houses around Old Sarum. Council officers in highways, conservation, environmental protection, environmental health, urban design, landscaping, schools and passenger transport have all raised concerns.
Almost 400 individuals have objected in writing, as well as national organisations including Highways England and Historic England.
‘Mr Hodge described opponents as a NIMBY crowd who lied about the plans to dupe others’ says the Journal. The developer’s agent, Feilden and Mawson, also said if the application failed “flying would cease and this entire brownfield site would be proposed for many more houses than that currently proposed”.
Mr Hodge claims that council officers had now raised concerns they did not have before. “Unfortunately some Wiltshire planners have decided to make adverse comments against [the development],” he is reported to have said.
The council’s Core Strategy supports the principle of some development around the airfield. It has deferred making a decision until 18 December.