Waverley council 'fighting fund' in Dunsfold Park row

A £65,000 fighting fund has been set aside by a Surrey council ahead of a planning row over Dunsfold Park aerodrome.

Waverley council said Dunsfold Park wrote to them claiming it had the right to use the site for unlimited and unrestricted aviation activity.

The council rejected the application and Dunsfold Park lodged an appeal.

Dunsfold Park confirmed its application had been turned down and said all its efforts were focused on the appeal.

'No option'

Councillor Adam Taylor-Smith said: "It has been the council's long-held view that aviation activity at Dunsfold should be controlled and restricted.

"This money will have to be spent so Waverley can strongly defend the decision it made on Dunsfold Park's certificate of lawful use request in the summer."

He said: "This isn't what I would ideally want to be spending the council's limited funds on at this time but following the appeal by Dunsfold Park we have been left with no option.

"It is going to require considerable public money to prove our case to a planning inspector."

He said no date had been set yet for the public inquiry but it was likely to run for about two weeks.

Aviation heritage

He added: "The monies set aside are in relation to not only legal fees but also in case the council needs appropriate expert aviation advice.

"Sadly, that may not be the end of the financial costs to the council, with a further £10,000 having to also be set aside."

Last month, a statement from Dunsfold Park said: "Dunsfold Park Ltd submitted an appeal against Waverley Borough Council's decision to turn down the application for a Certificate Of Lawfulness of Existing Use in connection with the use of the aerodrome.

"All our efforts are now focused on the appeal."

Dunsfold Park claims an aviation heritage including the development of military aircraft such as the Harrier, Hawk and Hunter.

Its website says its location 13 miles (21km) west of London Gatwick Airport provides a convenient site for aircraft operations including flight-testing, maintenance, repair, storage, hangarage and apron parking.

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