THE Old Sarum Airfield Inquiry is to be taken to a judicial review, after an appeal was lodged by the owners of the airfield.

A judicial review is a court case in which a judge is asked to resolve a dispute about whether a public body has acted unlawfully.

An planning inspector turned down an appeal over an application to build 462 homes on Old Sarum Airfield earlier this year.

If the review is successful, the original decision could be declared invalid and the planning inspectorate would have to take the decision again.

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

The Planning Inspectorate dismissed the original appeal and refused planning permission.

Inspector Frances Mahoney said that she found the scheme "wanting in heritage terms" and that the historic environment "would not be enhanced".

She added: "The heritage harm I have identified, along with the specified harm resulting from conflict with development plan, are sufficiently weighty to clearly out-weigh the benefits of the proposal.

"They are also material considerations leading to a conclusion that the presumption in favour of sustainable development is not engaged.

"Consequently, I dismiss this appeal and refuse planning permission."

Ms Mahoney also said she found "unreasonable behaviour" on both sides during the appeal process.

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.

Councillor Ian McLennan, who represents Laverstock, Ford and Old Sarum on Wiltshire Council, has said that he has been told that the government will be backing the decision of the Inspector Mahoney, at the review.

Peter Rickett, Senior Communications Manager for the Planning Inspectorate office, said: "I am able to confirm that a challenge has been made.

"We’ve not been informed if permission for the challenge has been given yet. It would not be appropriate for us to comment further."

A date for the review is yet to be determined.