Doncaster Sheffield Airport: Members of the public quiz mayor as lease plan is announced
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Today (20 September) Doncaster Council’s cabinet agreed to open negotiations to find an investor to lease Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA).
The airport closed last year after owner Peel Group stated that it was no longer financially viable for the company to operate.
In response, the council launched its South Yorkshire Airport City programme which aims to reopen the site with a wider hub of employment and investment opportunities surrounding it.
On Monday, interested parties will enter into negotiations with the aim to lease the site from Peel for over 100 years.
Several members of the public attended today’s meeting to pose questions to the Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones.
Attendees included Mark Chadwick, leader of the online Save DSA group which has over 23,000 members on Facebook.
Mr Chadwick asked: “As a community we fully support the work of Ros and this council in its efforts to save our airport. There are various comments on the group and other social media platforms with concerns regarding the lease with Peel.
“Just to get some clarity and to put these concerns to bed, if or when the lease is agreed, are the lease terms suitable so that our airport can operate for a good number of years with no interference from Peel so they cannot interrupt or even perhaps stop the future airport operations and development on the site?”
Mayor Ros Jones responded:“First of all, Mark may I put on record my thanks for your support and for all you do within the Save DSA community. You have been a leading figure to help build the momentum around our efforts to save and reopen our airport.
“In relation to the lease negotiations, we are at an early stage and the use and development rights would form part of the matters to be agreed. We have a range of aviation experts and advisors alongside the legal support who will continue to advise on such matters.”
Concerns were also raised as there were plans in place for a railway station at DSA prior to its closure, which are now uncertain.
Michael Regan asked: “The proposed new railway station was OK’d by the Government but was then put on hold after Peel announced the closure of the airport.
“The building of this new railway station and links is fundamental to the success of the airport. Is the funding for this coming from SYMCA by the way of devolved powers, as this will benefit the whole of South Yorkshire?”
Mayor Ros Jones responded: “This matter is outside of scope of this report however I can update that this is a live issue that we are picking up with South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and the Department for Transport.
“In relation to the DSA Rail scheme, this is a Department for Transport retained scheme, so the funding is not devolved to South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority. This is why we continue to engage with both SYMCA and the DfT on this matter.”