THE All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation says it is prepared to chair discussions over Old Sarum Airfield.

This comes after the airfield gave three month's notice to aircraft owners and said it would be considering the future of the site.

A statement from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation (APPG-GA) said: "The APPG-GA is aware of Old Sarum’s importance within the national network of GA airfields as a vital transport link within the UK.

"We call upon both the operator and local authority to take a proactive approach towards retention of the existing airfield while allowing some sympathetic development to address this grim situation.

"As a gesture of our support for the continuation of aviation at Old Sarum, we are prepared to chair a discussion between the parties. The sector chair of our dedicated Airfields Working Group is in contact with local stakeholders in an effort to mediate a solution.

"The APPG will also continue to work with Government to strengthen protections for airfields through planning law, including provisions to encourage mixed developments at airfields like Old Sarum to ensure their sustainability into the future."

In a letter sent by Matthew Hudson, one of the directors of Old Sarum Airfield Limited, that has been seen by the Journal, it says licences will be terminated on October 31.

This comes after a planning inspector turned down an appeal by Old Sarum Airfield Limited against Wiltshire Council and refused planning permission to build 462 homes and create a “flying hub”complete with a heritage centre, visitor centre, restaurant and new control tower.

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The letter says the decision by the inspector has resulted in the future of the airfield to be considered.

The letter said: “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 7 figure losses. This is a situation which, with the support of dedicated staff, he has spent decades and £ millions 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 October 31 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.”

Salisbury MP John Glen said: “The fundamental challenge facing us is that the interests of local residents and the owners of the airfield are not well aligned. Many local residents do not want significant housebuilding on the site but are also unhappy with excessive use of the airfield by light aircraft. The ideal scenario for many local residents is relatively moderate use of the airfield by aviation with no major housebuilding programme. However, the owners of the airfield are business people and looking for a return on their investment.

"I am in dialogue with Wiltshire Council, the local councillor, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation (APPG-GA) regarding the future of the site. I am of course instinctively sympathetic to maintaining and preserving a fantastic part of this country’s aviation heritage, but at the same time, the numbers have to stack up. I am waiting to hear back from Wiltshire Council regarding their position on the site and its future and will consider the matter further on receiving their reply.”