January we highlighted newspaper reports that the Barton
site had been sold. It turns out that this was not entirely accurate.
We understand that the actual intention of the current
landowners, Manchester City Council, is to transfer the lease of the land to the
Manchester Ship Canal Company in which they have a 50% stake, for £1m. This, however, has
not happened as yet.
The Lancashire Aero Club's lease on the
aerodrome runs until 2005, not next year as reported in the local press. They have been
denied the opportunity to purchase the site for themselves, thus ensuring the aerodrome's
long term future, despite being in a position to do so and have lodged an objection to the
proposed transfer with the local ombudsman.
The club, one of the few primarily GA
facilities in the area, has a thriving membership and provides work for more than 100
people. Salfrod City Council, the local planning authority which will ultimately approve
any development plans for the aerodrome site, remains supportive of the aerodrome. This
year sees the club celebrate it's 80th anniversary with a weekend of events, including a
fly-in, on May 11th and 12th.