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Hundreds of aircraft set to take part in airfield event

Wellesbourne Airfield.
Wellesbourne Airfield.

Around 200 aircraft and several celebrities are expected to fly into Wellesbourne Airfield this month for a special event to highlight it’s importance to the region.

There has been renewed impetus behind the campaign to save the airfield in recent weeks after Stratford District Council took dramatic action to prevent the landowners demolishing the site earlier this month.

Businesses are hopeful that this momentum will carry on into the New Year.

Owners of the airfield, Littler Investments, are keen to build up to 1,500 homes on the site, a plan widely criticised by the aviation community and many local residents.

The issue is far from resolved though and the airfield’s future still remains in the balance.

To draw attention to the airfield’s plight, a group of pilots and aviation enthusiasts at Wellesbourne called Landed Aviation are planning a huge fly in event next month.

Celebrities including Carol Vorderman and Matt Dearden from Channel 4's Worst Place to be a Pilot have pledged to join the aviators touching down in Wellesbourne.

The group have also organised an online petition to save the airfield, which has so far gained more than 4,700 signatures.

The petition has been widely promoted on social media by Carol Vorderman and Stratford motoring journalist Quentin Willson, both avid supporters of Wellesbourne airfield.

The organisers of Throckmorton Air Show are also involved in the fly-in, organising the paperwork necessary for such an event to take place and promoting the event on its website.

Quentin Willson said: “There’s lots of reasons why we should be fighting to save Wellesbourne Airfield, Carol Vorderman and I are quite adamant that this is a very significant airfield in the UK.

“It is a great community resource for Stratford and if we allow a large housing estate to be built there, it will tip the balance in Stratford towards much greater congestion. There is so much potential to make Wellesbourne Airfield more of a business hub. We should be having conversations about making it more of a destination for people to fly and learn to fly.

“I really enjoy going to the airfield with my family, it’s got a fantastic café. I’m very pleased about the way Stratford District Council are supporting the airfield.

“It’s great that Carol is taking part in the fly in, I’m supporting the event and I hope to attend too.”

Mike Roberts, who runs Take Flight Aviation at Wellesbourne Airfield, said: “I’m not surprised by the support we are getting, the general aviation community is very close and anything that supports the airfield is very welcome.

“Obviously we were very happy with the council’s actions, they’ve given a message to the owners that if they want to develop the airfield they must do so in line with their Core Strategy. It’s just a case of waiting for the landowners to see sense now.”

To sign the petition to save Wellesbourne Airfield visit www.change.org and search for Save Wellesbourne Airfield From Demolition.

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