Group urges Stratford District Council not to allow shortening of main runway at Wellesbourne airfield

A former Stratford district councillor said jobs could be at risk if the owners of Wellesbourne airfield are allowed to shorten the main runway.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 4:33 pm
Updated Friday, 15th November 2019, 4:34 pm
Wellesbourne Air Field

Maurce Howse, who held the business portfolio at the council until earlier this year, was speaking on behalf of pressure group Wellesbourne Matters at this week’s (Monday November 11) cabinet meeting.

He urged his former council colleagues to remember a line from their own core strategy document concerning the airfield.

Mr Howse said: “I quote ‘retain and support the enhancement of the established flight function and aviation related facilities at Wellesbourne airfield’. Please hold on to that sentence.

“The owners Littlers Investments Limited have put forward proposals to shorten the main runway and close the short runway and also to close part of the short disused section of runway that is used for the parking of visiting aircraft.

“The effect of this is significant for the following reasons All aircraft have to have sufficient runway length for which to take off and land. However, there is another requirement and that is that a runway must be of sufficient length to allow an aircraft to abort its takeoff at the point at which it is just becoming airborne and still have sufficient runway to stop.

“By shortening the main runway it becomes impossible for significant aircraft that are current visitors to Wellesbourne to land. In particular the Cessna jet that comes in three times a week for Munster Joinery Ltd would no longer be able to land and it could cause the owner to move his business to another location with the subsequent loss of jobs to Wellesbourne.

“There are numerous types of aircraft that will no longer be able to land and Aston Martin are frequent users.”

Mr Howse went on to explain that flying lessons carried out at the airfield would also be at risk by the proposed runway alterations and few aircraft could hit the livelihoods of those employed to maintain the planes.

He added: “Wellesbourne Matters formally requests a meeting with Stratford District Council. The all party parliamentary group on general aviation is keen to see that Wellesbourne is retained as an active airfield.”

Councillors were due to discuss the airfield in closed session but acting leader Cllr Daren Pemberton (Con Bidford East) said that the request for a meeting would be considered.