The day of reckoning is fast approaching for businesses at Wellesbourne Airfield with a hearing on whether their leases can be extended set to take place on 1st May.
The businesses are currently locked in a dispute with the airfield owners, Littler Investments, who want to sell the land for the construction of up to 1,500 homes.
In an effort to secure their futures at the site, businesses have applied to extend their leases at the airfield, something the landowner opposes.
Littler Investments are fighting on the basis that they want to demolish or carry out reconstruction work on a substantial part of the site.
The landowners may find it a tough battle to sell the airfield for housing though, as the site is not one allocated for housing in Stratford District Council’s Core Strategy.
The council also says it is committed to protecting and enhancing flying functions at Wellesbourne Airfield and even moved in 2016 to prevent demolition work taking place at the site under permitted development rights.
In addition to the huge opposition to housing on the airfield, the emerging Wellesbourne and Walton’s Neighbourhood Development Plan is also against the houses.
Businesses at the airfield have accused Littler Investments of deliberately delaying the hearing on the leases.
Rodney Galiffe, director of the South Warwickshire Flying School, which operates from Wellesbourne Airfield, said: “From our end I think we’re quite happy that a date has been set, we’ve been in limbo for a long time. The landowner has been asking for extensions throughout the whole process, we don’t really know why, some people think it’s a ploy, maybe to add costs to the legal case.
“We hope that law will take its course, the landowner wants to develop the site, but it’s something the council have told them they can’t do.”