Grant Shapps weighs in on Panshanger Aerodrome housing plan

PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 November 2012 | UPDATED: 10:18 26 November 2012

Panshanger Aerodrome

Panshanger Aerodrome

Archant

WELWYN Hatfield’s MP has labelled Panshanger Aerodrome “a community asset that can never be replaced” after it was earmarked for development.

Grant Shapps says he has been inundated by campaigners who want to save the WGC WW2 site after it was highlighted in Welwyn Hatfield Council’s 18-year housing plan.

The MP said he had received “bucket loads” of mail about Panshanger – but none from other areas.

The former decoy airfield and current home of the North London Flying Club could take up to 1,000 homes as well as gypsy and traveller sites.

Mr Shapps said: “I know from my postbag that a lot of residents feel that Panshanger is simply the wrong location.

“Locals point to the area as a valuable educational resource which is used by local schools, scout groups and the University of Hertfordshire.

“Thousands of residents enjoy events like classic car exhibitions and free public firework displays.

“People are emailing me to ask whether it would make more sense to put forward unused land elsewhere in the borough, rather than destroy a popular local community asset.”

He added: “Of course the whole point of a consultation is to allow the public to voice their opinions and so I’ll be following the debate closely.

“It may be that it makes more sense to put forward a piece of unused land, rather than throw away a community asset that can never be replaced.”

The aerodrome has been put forward as part of the authority’s emerging core strategy that will see around 7,200 homes built across Times Territory.

Senior councillors chose to centre development around WGC and Hatfield.

Landowners put forward areas they believe are suitable for development with the public now given the chance to voice their opinions on the plans.

The WHT contacted the North London Flying Club, but bosses declined to comment.

To see the plans in full or air your opinion log on to www.welhat.gov.uk/localplan2012

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