Evening News is reporting that the site of Barton Aerodrome is to be sold by its current
owners, Manchester City Council, to the property giant Peel Holdings. The site is
currently used by the Lancashire Aero Club, but their lease ends next year.
Manchester City Council are quoted as saying that the
site will be sold "...on the basis that the Aero Club stays." Peel Holdings also
state that there are no plans to kick out the flying club, according to the article.
However, the site is opposite a large area of
land part owned by Peel Holdings and already earmarked for development. The chairman of
the Greater Manchester Transport Authority is quoted in the article as saying "I am
sure that both Manchester and Peel want to see the airport closed and the site
Peel Holdings have also submitted plans for a
racecourse at a nearby location. The article suggests one option would be to include an
airfield for the use of jockeys and owners, and to which the Aero Club could be relocated.
Aerodrome management have expressed concern
over this latest event. The club has 800 members and provides work for more than 100
people. Its efforts to become accessible to the local community are exemplary and it lists
the support of residents associations in its desire to stay in the current location.
A follow up article
in the Manchester Evening News provides more insight into the disappointment of the
aerodrome users and their concerns for the future.
Barton was the subject of an A4A alert last year. The site lies within the Salford
City Council jurisdiction and any plans for development would need Local Planning
Authority permission. The alert drew attention to a consultation exercise which sought
opinions on whether the Council should continue with its policy of protecting the
aerodrome use in the face of development pressures.