Doncaster Council has revealed a series of new measures taken in its ongoing fight to reopen the region’s airport.
Doncaster Sheffield Airport shut down last year after owner Peel Group announced that the site was no longer viable to run.
But on Wednesday 12 April Doncaster Council’s cabinet approved a new strategy to reopen the site.
It was also revealed that the council are pursuing planning measures to protect vital assets being removed.
Councillors approved a new strategy titled South Yorkshire Airport City, which will be welcomed by campaigners.
Among the approved included £3.1 million of council funding which would be used if the council pursues a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) of the airport site as a last resort.
Plans are in place to not only reopen the site, but create a new cluster of businesses centred around aerospace functions.
The development could incorporate areas such as employment, research and development, retail and leisure and transport links.
Currently, the council has been offered a leasehold to take over the site with Peel Group as landlord.
This option is being pursued, with both parties discussing how this may look in real terms.
The council has sent what is known as a head of terms document to Peel Group, setting out a potential legal framework for a lease.
At the same time, the council is proposing to introduce an Article 4 direction on the site.
This is a planning restriction which would remove development rights on the site, meaning that key parts of the airport’s infrastructure cannot be removed.
Presenting the South Yorkshire Airport City strategy to cabinet, Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones said: “We believe that DSA has the core attributes needed to be a successful airport and play a vital role in our levelling–up ambitions. We are determined that it should re- open and this objective has wide-ranging support from people and businesses across the region.
“Our preferred outcome is to reach agreement on the acquisition of the airport through meaningful negotiations, but if necessary, this council will seek to compulsorily purchase the airport site. We are preparing for that eventuality, should it be required.”
She continued: “The acquisition process will take time and it will not be cheap. However, this airport has the potential to be the jewel in the crown of the Doncaster and South Yorkshire economy.
“It is an investment in the future of this great city and region.”
“That is why this report to cabinet sets out the latest position and asks for the support to progress our endeavours for the site’s future.”
Rose concluded: “I hope a negotiated sale can be achieved but, if not, we have to plan for other ways to secure the airport for the aviation industry, our residents and communities and our economy.”
Members of the public can leave comments in support or objection to the Article 4 direction by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.