The fight to save Filton Airfield on the edge of Bristol
"LORD of the Manor" ... Tim Shorland's claim to the "mines and minerals" beneath Filton's "closed" airfield runway has taken a significant step forward in preserving this National asset.
Combining with Bristol boxing promoter – Tex Woodward – who shares similar rights with Tim on other parts of the airfield they have delivered a resounding "body blow" to eager developers intent on saturating the airfield with upwards of 3000 homes. This will certainly have to be put on hold indefinitely until the legalities of this revelation have been substantially resolved.
Through acquiring the mineral access to this prestigious airfield site they are requesting to uphold their legal rights to test-bore the runway to explore the prospects of "shale gas" beneath it. In a process known as "Fracking" it could provide a very substantial fuel source to generate much needed electrical energy at very low cost.
It is currently operated in Northern parts of the UK and extensively in America. The Government Inspector, Paul Crysell will be returning to South Gloucestershire Council in March to consider an additional land supply that could add to the Council's Core Strategy. But he will not be considering the airfield site. That I understand from a Council source is not an option. He considers it ... closed! I am not included in that examination.
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It is an established fact that the cessation of aircraft activity on this renowned airfield site and its replacement with housing is completely out of character with the neighbourhood. It would simply add to the town's traffic difficulties particularly at peak times. Filton's road structure cannot cope with the present capacity without adding more.
Additional support in this fight to save the runway is coming from the "Charlton Village Green Committee" in nearby Henbury. "We want our village back," they are demanding.
It was acquired through a compulsory purchase order to extend the runway in 1946. Appreciation in housing values over succeeding years would have added considerably to the village value contributing to descendants' benevolence had it remained intact. It caused anguish and regrets when it was initially undertaken. There were no "Disturbance allowances" in those far off days.
The "Post's" advice that ... "it was time to accept airfield's closure (The Post: February 15th) will only be taken when all possible avenues have been fully explored to bring about an amicable, acceptable and sensible conclusion to this airfield issue.
With communications about it being received from all over the country we believe that this issue is far from just 'local' ... it is 'National' and will be treated in that way.
We are NOT accepting the matter lightly at Filton. Our efforts will be continued .. Nationally if need be ... until a satisfactory conclusion has been reached.
The Post considers that there are far more "ifs" in this than there are in Kipling's poem. Maybe there are. But Kipling's poem includes this line ... "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same ... etc." Well we can ... at Filton, we will continue the fight until there is a satisfactory, sensible and fully acceptable solution to this destruction of a truly National Asset.
Councillor Douglas Daniels