Up to 40 firms employing more than 300 people are based without planning permission on the old Aston Down airfield site near Minchinhampton. Why do they do that?? Some good companies up there but why not seek sites with planning permission? Is it cheaper to have a site without planning?
Anyhow the hearing begins on March 3rd - the appeal is by the airfield's owners Leda Properties and is expected to last 10 days. It is against Stroud and Cotswold district councils' refusal to allow the continuation of the light industrial and warehousing use of the huge old aircraft hangars and other buildings. The local residents action group will be able to speak at the meeting.
I have to note that after reviewing the site all that time ago it is clear that the extra traffic and heavy lorries to and from the site were unacceptable on the minor roads serving Aston Down - especially as it is in the official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Indeed since then I have seen many more photos and witnessed heavy lorries using the site inappropriately.
The hearing will start at Ebley Mill in Stroud and move during the second week to a venue to be announced in Cirencester.
However to finish this blog entry I would like to note that while it seems clear the current industry is excessive there is surely a possible use for some of the perfectly good buildings - extreme care will be needed to see what might be possible that does not generate the traffic and fits with local planning laws.