Initially established as a Training Depot Station during World War One, Old Sarum has been an operational airfield for almost 100 years.
It is the sole remaining airfield of its kind in operation and this is only because the operating losses for the last 29 years have been met by the owner and his family.
Some of the original airfield buildings remain, notably a Belfast truss “temporary” hangar but all require significant investment to secure their future.
Today, Old Sarum Airfield operates a range of aviation facilities, from a flying school to a skydive centre. It is also home to the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection.
The Master Air Plan:Securing the future of Old Sarum Airfield
The future of Old Sarum Airfield has been under discussion with Salisbury District and then Wiltshire for many years, always with the objective of maintaining the historic flying activities and the airfield’s military history including WW2.
Since 2007, adopted council planning policies have recognised that this can be achieved by ‘sympathetic new development on the airfield perimeter, including high quality residential use…’
The Master Air Plan provides enhanced public access to the airfield and surrounding areas.
The proposals allow the original line of the Roman road, The Portway, to be reinstated and its line directly to the Old Sarum Ancient Monument once again being clearly established.
New footpaths, cycle ways, picnic areas and viewpoints will allow the local community and visitors to, for the first time, see the WWI and WW2 heritage and the new life of the airfield provided by this sensitive development.
A focus on heritage and design
The Master Air Plan has been carefully designed to be sympathetic to the site’s heritage, and add rather than detract from its history.
The existing listed WWI hangar, which has fallen into a poor state, and the remaining WWI buildings, will be restored.
The original grass flying field will be retained and this area will be used to display and fly the historic aircraft which have been operated from Old Sarum over the last 100 years.
A new heritage centre, with better facilities and sympathetic to the architecture in the Conservation Area, will be developed.
The proposed new homes have been carefully designed by one of Britain’s foremost heritage firms to reflect existing local architecture, the topography of the site and the proximity of the Old Sarum Ancient Monument.
The Master Air Plan has been developed over 8 years, and there have been multiple opportunities for the local community and others to comment on and influence the plans
Our plans summarised
The Master Air Plan for Old Arum Airfield sets out proposals for high quality, sensitive residential development on surplus land adjacent to the airfield.
Any profits will first enable the historic airfield buildings to be restored and new facilities to be provided.
Under the current proposals, flying will be maintained, the airfield and its associated facilities will remain, and a new heritage centre will be built.
The Master Air Plan responds to adopted Wiltshire Council planning policies designed to secure the future of Old Sarum Airfield, as well as national planning guidance.
These proposals have been the subject of extensive consultation. They have been carefully designed to respect the heritage of the site and its location adjacent to the Old Sarum Ancient Monument. Public access will be improved.
If the current planning application is approved, work is expected to begin on site in 2017.
Old Sarum Airfield Ltd is the owner and operator of the airfield and has been investing in a long term strategy for the 100 year old airfield for more than 25 years under the leadership of Matthew Hudson and Grenville Hodge both of whom have extensive knowledge and experience aviation.
The company is owned by Matthew Hudson, a barrister and solicitor with a half-century of business experience including large property developments in Canada, USA and Scotland. In 1986 while a resident of Bath but on vacation in France he was asked to save Edgely Aircraft from a 2nd bankruptcy. On learning that this company was, other than British Aerospace, the only entity in the United Kingdom capable of fully certificating an aircraft, and that a bankruptcy filing would result in loss of these approvals, he immediately wire transferred funds to Edgley to meet the payroll which was due the following day. At that point he had never seen Old Sarum Airfield and knew nothing of Edgley aircraft. Said another way he risked tens of thousands of pounds on the chance that he would be able to create a rescue plan for this little, but strategically important British company. Thus began his involvement with Old Sarum Airfield.
In 1990 while living in Scotland he was asked by George Younger who had been Margaret Thatcher’s defense minister during the Falklands war and was the sitting MP for Ayr, to see whether Prestwick Airport could be saved from closure. The airport was owned and operated by BAA which was spending £2 for each £1 of revenue. After a great deal of work to create a new and one-of-a-kind business plan Matthew provided the funding to purchase the airport in early 1992 with a small group of leading Scots including Lord Younger and Sir David McNee. He drew up a novel business plan and operated the airport very successfully as principal owner and chief executive, growing flights and revenues exponentially. It was estimated by Invest in Scotland that the reinvention of Prestwick created and/or saved thousands of jobs in Scotland, particularly in “Silicon Glen”. The University of Glasgow’s business school invited Matthew to join its faculty as a Visiting Professor and he fulfilled this role for a number of years eventually becoming an honorary professor. He was voted a Companion of the Royal Aeronautical Society for his service to aviation.
Grenville Hodge is an aeronautical engineer and worked at Old Sarum Airfield building the Optica light aircraft, starting as General Manager for Edgley Aircraft before moving on to Group MD of Brookland’s Aerospace after the company was acquired by Matthew Hudson. He recently retired from BAE Systems where he spent the last 12 years as Group Audit Director where he had oversight of all systems, processes, controls and risk worldwide with direct responsibility to the main board. Previous to this he spent 7 years as Head of Strategy and External Affairs, BAE Systems Airbus – representing BAE in the restructuring of Airbus and the launch of major aircraft programmes including the A380 and A400M.
Established in 1985, DPDS is an independent professional practice offering a comprehensive range of town planning, environmental, and architectural and urban design services.
We have a multidisciplinary team of specialists which enables us to adopt an integrated approach to development projects combining our skills and experience to maximise development potential which achieving high standards of design and remaining sensitive to the environment.
Our extensive planning experience & expertise includes: Submission of all types of planning and change of use applications; Appeals against refusal of planning permission and enforcement action; Representation in respect of Development Plan matters and the presentation at Public Local Inquiry or Public Examination; Site appraisals and feasibility studies; Strategic land promotion; Project Management Planning; Preparation of development briefs, masterplans and Design codes; Environmental Impact Assessments; Sustainability appraisals and audits; Retail and leisure planning; Socio-economic and demographic studies; Urban capacity studies; Development Plan Monitoring; Viability appraisals; Land assembly programmes.
The landscape and arboricultural inputs for the Old Sarum Airfield scheme have been provided by the Environmental Dimension Partnership (EDP). EDP is a leading specialist environmental planning and design consultancy providing services to a range of clients across the UK within the fields of landscape planning, landscape design, masterplanning, ecology, arboriculture and archaeology/cultural heritage.
Salisbury-based Wessex Archaeology combines 35 years of local archaeological knowledge with the latest technologies and approaches to deliver a class-leading range of services. One of the largest archaeological practices in the country with UK-wide network of offices, we work with councils, developers and heritage organisations to ensure that archaeological remains are recorded and preserved before work begins on new development schemes. An educational charity, we put sustainability and community engagement at the heart of our work.
We are a multinational engineering consultancy group, with a workforce of approximately 32,000 employees, with offices on every continent. By optimising the combined skills of our global workforce through knowledge sharing and close collaboration we offer the best service to our clients locally and internationally, competing with the largest companies in our sector.
Our heritage still informs the way we work. We retain the attitude and client focus of a partnership, even when we are delivering multi-disciplinary projects and calling upon the expertise of colleagues outside the UK.
We know that understanding our clients, delivering to the highest quality and seeking innovation have always been at the heart of our success. We’ll never change or compromise the way we do business.
PRP have extensive experience in the field of noise and vibration which is supported by strong civil and structural engineering knowledge. PRP are undertaking noise evaluation and advising on noise mitigation for the development.
Goadsby is the region’s largest independent Estate Agent offering 24 residential & 4 commercial offices across Dorset, Hampshire & South Wiltshire. Established in 1958 and with customer satisfaction at the forefront of the company’s objective, Goadsby offer specialist teams with in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the residential and commercial property business. Goadsby has strong Land & New Homes expertise with longstanding associations with local, regional and national developers, a service further complimented by an in-house Town Planning department. Further services include Mortgage Services, Survey & Valuation together with a wide range of commercial departments that include Business Space, Retail, Hotels and Leisure, Property Management as well as Building Consultancy.
Feilden and Mawson
Feilden and Mawson is a leading architectural practice in the AJ top 100 with an established reputation in heritage and new build across the commercial and public sectors. Founded over five decades ago, the practice has offices in London, Norwich, Cambridge and Prague. Expertise in new build, regeneration and masterplanning in sectors as diverse as education, government and housing earns us international acclaim and dozens of awards.
The practice has developed an architectural philosophy based on a contemporary approach to the design of new buildings, whilst respecting their context, combined with a knowledge and skills acquired through the conservation of historic buildings and their environment. These principles have been supported with a strong business ethic, based on the pursuit of excellence and integrity in professional relations.
The practice has been able to grow and compete in a changing economic climate over the past 50 years, by anticipating and adapting to the changes in technical and business practice. We continually re-evaluate the skills and knowledge required to respond to clients’ requirements and introduce appropriate areas of strength and expertise within the practice.
An overriding concern for the design and construction on the built environment has led to the development of strong sustainable design principles and skills which are applied to all projects.