Petition launched to reclassify airfields as Greenfield sites

Tollerton Airfield, also known as Nottingham City Airport
Tollerton Airfield, also known as Nottingham City Airport

A petition to have airfields reclassified as ‘Greenfield’ sites instead of ‘Brownfield’ to help protect them from being turned into housing developments has been submitted to Parliament. Pilots and enthusiasts are urged to sign the petition.

The petition was started by Sarah Deacon, a member of the Save Nottingham City (Tollerton) Airfield campaign, who said, “Airfields around the country are categorised as brownfield sites making them attractive for development of housing estates.

“However, airfields are often mostly grass land. Reclassifying them as green belt could help protect our green countryside, protect local employment and protect general aviation.

“General Aviation airfields are home to wild flowers, plants and grasses as well as many small animals and birds such as Skylarks which are on the red list. Many future commercial pilots start their training at these airfields.

“We can protect GA airfields from being so vulnerable to closure by designating them as greenfield sites. This could help to achieve the government’s strategy to achieve JetZero and NetZero- as well as help to cement the UK as a world leader in general aviation.”

Sign the petition here:

Bodmin Airfield has been recognised as the largest traditional wildlife meadow in the southwest

Bodmin Airfield has been recognised as the largest traditional wildlife meadow in the southwest

A similar petition was put forward by the General Aviation Awareness Council (GAAC) in 2015 which pointed out that an ‘administrative oversight’ in 2003 led to the deletion of planning protection from airfields being classified as brownfield sites.

The petition was signed by 20,215 people leading to a government response: “National policy and guidance recognises the importance of airfields, we will work with the aviation sector to ensure the current policy relating to development on airfields is better understood.”

The response went on to say airfields were brownfield sites because they had previously been developed – clearly not the case at every airfield as Sarah says above.

Another petition in 2017 was closed early because of a general election.

GAAC objection to Nottingham City Airfield proposal

The planning proposal to build an initial 400 dwellings, followed by a ‘phased residential developement’ including roads, school and other infrastructure – a new town in other words – on Tollerton airfield is currently before Rushcliffe Borough Council with a decision due by 1 July 2024.

GAAC has made a weighty and thorough objection to the proposal which can be downloaded here or from the planning portal. It starts with, “On behalf of the GAAC, the UK’s General Aviation Industry and Aviation Heritage UK we write to object to this application for the reasons set out below.

“In addition, while researching the background to this application we found the process by which the original Outline consent was granted did not include the appropriate consultation with airfield users and the General Aviation industry and this should be reviewed at the earliest opportunity.”

Save Nottingham City (Tollerton) Airfield campaign


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