Airfield plans submitted for Hatfield as doubts grow over Panshanger
PUBLISHED: 09:40 26 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:59 26 June 2018
Plans have been submitted for an airfield at the former Hatfield Aerodrome site.
Aviation enthusiast Colin Fitch has put forward proposals for a runway and associated facilities in Ellenbrook Fields in response to doubts emerging over a relocated runway at Panshanger.
The northern section of the Welwyn Garden City site has been left to potentially have an airfield, with housing earmarked for the southern section as part of Welwyn Hatfield Council’s Local Plan.
In the application, Mr Fitch said: “The Government inspector suggested to the head of planning [at WHC] that he should look and consider alternative options for relocation of Panshanger airfield elsewhere in the borough.
“The head of planning intimated that WHC did not have the expertise or funding to do this.
“This application is therefore intended to provide WHC another option in the event that an aerodrome cannot be retained in Panshanger.”
The grass runway would be a total length of 1,290m, including an end safely area to meet regulations, and access would be off Albatross Way.
There would also be associated facilities including two 20m by 15m hangars, a 30m by 10m clubhouse, a 50-vehicle car park and a community viewing and picnic area.
“The council has accepted that a grass runway and supporting facilities within the Green Belt is an acceptable use of the Green Belt,” the proposal reads.
“This outline planning application simply swaps one area of Green Belt north of Panshanger for another to the historic aerodrome at Hatfield on the business park.”
Doing so would retain a community airfield in the borough and enable new housing requirements in Panshanger, Mr Fitch added.
There are currently rival petitions for and against an airfield in Panshanger, as well as other planning applications hoping to reinstate an airfield to the north of the site.
Much will hinge on crunch meetings this week with the planning inspectorate – where the feasibility of having a relocated runway will come under scrutiny.