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Let's try to keep our airfield
12:45pm Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in Salisbury Letters
YES it’s an SOS call for Old Sarum Airfield, following your extensive coverage by Corey Ross and Annie Riddle.
Old Sarum Airfield is a Conservation Area with special architectural and historical interest.
Salisbury District Council’s first attempt in 2001 was defeated in the High Court by Blanefield (aka Old Sarum Airfield Ltd).
Conservation status was achieved in 2007, despite the usual opposition and a smear campaign suggesting that Old Sarum would become Heathrow.
Our airfield is the second oldest and best preserved military airfield from the First World War.
Originally Ford Farm Airfield, it was renamed Old Sarum as that was the pilots’ reference. The airfield opened to the original design in 1917 and remains almost intact today. The concept was one of a work, rest and play area.
There is a grass runway in front of the Grade II listed Belfast Hangars, technical and admin buildings to the rear. Completed by NCO’s housing and leisure facilities including the Officers’ Mess. English Heritage states: “Old Sarum is the best-preserved flying field of the First World War period. It is bounded by one of the most complete suites of technical and hangar buildings of the period.”
Wiltshire Council has a responsibility to conserve and enhance the airfield. WC has devolved its responsibility to Old Sarum Airfield Ltd developers who wish to maximise development on three sides of the perimeter.
It is like asking the foxes to build the chicken sheds.
They only control the airstrip and one hangar, so perhaps the greater heritage possibilities are with the Aviation Museum.
SDC Core Strategy document singled out Ford as close to Salisbury yet entirely rural. A place to protect! Now under WC, it can expect hundreds of houses.
Email spatialplanningpolicy@wil tshire.gov.uk as they are still collecting inputs for the Core Strategy inspector. Also, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
uk and the Government Minister for Heritage Ed Vaizey MP at email@example.com.
Let’s fight to keep the best remaining First World War grass airstrip intact for its centenary.
IAN MCLENNAN Laverstock, Ford & Old Sarum Division Wiltshire Council
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