AIRCRAFT owners have been given three months' notice to leave Old Sarum Airfield as the owners consider the future of the site.

In a letter sent by Old Sarum Airfield Limited that has been seen by the Journal it says that licences will be terminated on October 31 and licence owners will not be able to return to the site after this date. It is not clear whether it has been sent to all aircraft owners using the site.

This decision comes after a planning inspector turned down an appeal and refused planning permission over plans to build 462 homes on Old Sarum Airfield.

The inquiry was launched after an appeal was made by Old Sarum Airfield Limited against Wiltshire Council.

The operators were looking to build 462 homes around the airfield, which is a conservation area and includes listed buildings, and to create what they called a ‘flying hub’ complete with a heritage centre, visitor centre, restaurant and new control tower.

The letter says the decision by the inspector has resulted in the future of the airfield to be considered and that the airfield has been operating at a loss for a number of years.

It said: "After October 31, the Hudson family may not provide future loans to Old Sarum Airfield Limited since it now has absolutely no prospect of repaying the existing non-performing 7-figure loans, except by promoting unlimited flying.

"As the council's own expert testified this could make the use of the airfield profitable but only with a very large increase in flying operations.

"The airfield profitable at that level would be able to fully service the existing loans from the Hudsons. The consequence would be a significant increase in aviation noise caused by overflying local residents and communities in and around Salisbury from unlimited flying of all types of aircraft including helicopters, at all hours. As accepted at the inquiry, this will damage the quality of life for hundreds of families. It would also reduce their property values considerably due to the noise nuisance 24-7.

"Matthew Hudson is considering this unpleasant quandary - impose large property losses on hundreds of homeowners while reducing their quality of life; or close the airfield and personally realise unsustainable seven figure losses. This is a situation which, with the support of dedicated staff, he has spent decades a £million trying to prevent.

In the interim we need to keep all our options open and to this end we are forthwith giving you three months’ notice of the termination of your licence. Your licence will terminate on the 31 October 2019 when you will need to vacate the premises. Thereafter in the absence of new arrangements, you will have no rights of access to any of the airfield premises or any use of the airfield.

"We are very sorry that we are forced to take this action but want to provide you with as much advance notice as possible. I hope you understand that we need to ensure that we keep all our options open in order to permit mitigation of some of the harm that this strange, in deed unfounded decision by Wiltshire Council and the planning inspector has caused."

The Journal has contacted Old Sarum Airfield Limited for comment.