Campaigners fume over Welwyn Garden City aerodrome housing plans

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 November 2012 | UPDATED: 15:49 18 November 2012

Panshanger Aerodrome

Panshanger Aerodrome

Archant

FEARS an historic aerodrome will be consumed by up to 1,000 new homes, gypsy and traveller pitches and an on-site decentralised energy centre have sparked Welwyn Garden City residents into action.

Panshanger Aerodrome has been highlighted by Welwyn Hatfield Council as an area of possible growth over the next 17 years, leaving neighbours angered.

Campaigners have set up a Facebook page, entitled Save Panshanger, and are urging residents to oppose any development by lobbying politicians.

Vernon Pearce, 66, of nearby Chelveston, said: “I’m not happy about it obviously.

“If they did put something there like that [a gypsy or traveller site] they wouldn’t be able to sell the properties.

“It would be better if it stayed like it is, a lot of people will be up in arms about it.”

The aerodrome began life as a WW2 decoy airfield and it is currently home to the North London Flying School and the area is used by schools, scout groups and the University of Hertfordshire.

It also hosts car exhibitions and firework displays.

Campaigners have also contacted MP Grant Shapps to air their concerns.

The area has been earmarked as an area of potential growth in the council’s emerging core strategy which will see 7,200 homes built across Welwyn Hatfield.

Landowners put forward areas they believed were ripe for development and a report into the aerodrome site by the authority states: “Land in this location is considered suitable to take forward as a broad location for housing growth.”

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