Council policy dictates 800 acres of Doncaster Sheffield Airport site is solely for aviation but Peel ‘could sit on land for decades’
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The mayor said the recent Local Plan approved last year limits the 800 acre site to ‘aviation uses and infrastructure required for the safe operation and growth of operational passenger and freight at the airport’.
But despite this, Mayor Jones said owners Peel is ‘well within the law’ to close the airport and simply sit on the site and ‘do nothing with it for decades’.
When asked about the comparisons of SYMCA buying the airport like Tees Valley MCA did, Mayor Jones said the situations were ‘completely different’ as the wider DSA site was double in size and the land value was ‘considerably more expensive’.
Mayor Jones also said she was not opposed to SYMCA having an equity share in the airport but would favour a ‘mixed solution of operators and investors’.
There’s less than two weeks left of a six week ‘strategic review’ and airport bosses said the site may have to close as it is now ‘commercially unviable’ as passengers continue to use DSA for their holidays abroad.
Experts believe the airport may close by the end of October when the summer holiday season broadly comes to an end.
The mayor said the council, SYMCA, MPs and Doncaster Chamber are locked into ‘complex negotiations’ with Peel in order to secure the future of the site.
Mayor Jones said: “Yes, there are planning restrictions and limitations in place, but we need to be cautious that Peel would be well within the law to close the airport over the next couple of years and then simply sit on the site and do nothing with it for decades.
“Doncaster Council and SYMCA are currently in complex negotiations with Peel, and I am thankful that the government has now committed some resources from the Department for Transport to support us.
“We have also brought in Doncaster Chamber, business representatives and aviation experts, there is a significant amount of work going on in the background as a number of options are worked up and discussed at length with Peel.
“I believe it needs that mix of investors and operators to really drive that growth potential at DSA. It is an incredible airport, and I want to see a bright future for DSA.
“But the big thing to remember is that Peel does not currently want to sell.”