This page will be updated regularly and will focus on the proposed residential housing scheme at Redlands. See below for the history of the scheme.
Termination Notices were served to resident microlights, Skydive London and Cloudbase Microlighting in April 2019. The Airfield will be closing at the end of September. By the end of August all individually owned microlights will have left and the Airfield will be closed to all visiting pilots from 1st September.
The flying school and skydive club will both be leaving Redlands at the end of September. Cloudbase will be relocating locally and Skydive London will cease trading.
Ecology surveys continue as well as further intrusive ground surveys to inform the next stage of planning, the Reserved Matters application.
The ecologists have had a busy few months gathering habitat evidence of the different species of wildlife on site and for the updated surveys. Anyone visiting Redlands may have noticed reptile mats dotted along the base of the hedge rows and alongside buildings, as well as 47 dormouse tubes.
So far, great crested newts, bats, otter, water vole, white clawed crayfish, reptile, song-bird and dormouse surveys have been completed or started with boxes, tubes and detectors placed in strategic positions to collect evidence.
On 10th April, the Planning Committee voted on our planning application and resolved to grant planning permission ‘in principle’. The granting of planning permission is subject conditions which are the Section 106 agreement between the Local Authority and us, and an update of the ecology surveys, which are now over three years old.
The process is still in the very early stages; the Section 106 is an extensive legal agreement detailing financial contributions towards the wider infrastructure requirements to deliver the New Eastern Villages and the ecology surveys have specific windows of opportunity to complete dependant on the species. So there’s still some way to go before outline planning permission is granted.
The planning decision doesn’t affect our daily operations at Redlands, we’re still flying and skydiving and intend to continue for as long we can. Very happily, we’re busier than we were last year with weekday flying becoming ever more popular.
Today Swindon Borough Council published it’s Planning Committee Agenda for 10th April 2018. Redlands is on the agenda. The Agenda and associated reports can be found here.
What does this mean?
The planning committee will discuss the planning application and vote to either grant or refuse planning permission. The decision will be made on the night. If planning is granted, it doesn’t mean the airfield is immediately closing! We will be open for business as usual!
The application being considered is an outline planning application. If it’s approved, it doesn’t give permission to immediately start building houses. There will be conditions attached, requiring further investigative work and reports and a detailed planning application will need to be submitted in the future.
It is difficult at this stage to confirm timescales. Once we know the result of the Planning Committee decision on 10th April we will post an update. However, we do know that if approval is given, we are certainly going to remain open this year.
The land at Redlands Airfield and Redlands Farm has long been associated with Swindon Borough Council’s expansion plans to the East of Swindon. In about 1997 the site was included in a vision for a 12,000 house scheme in the Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West when it was known as the Eastern Development Area.
In 2011 our site was put forward for consideration in the next Local Plan being developed by the Council, in an area known as the New Eastern Villages (NEV) comprising about 8,000 new homes and 40 hectares of employment. When the prospect of inclusion became serious we made the decision to work with Barberry Group, a property and planning company.
In 2013 Redlands was included in SBC’s Local Plan 2026 Public Consultation. Redlands was allocated as one of eight new villages.
In 2014 The Local Plan was examined by an Independent Planning Inspector at a Public Inquiry. Following approval, the Local Plan was adopted by Swindon Borough Council in March 2015.
In December 2015 Barberry submitted a planning application.
Further detailed information about the New Eastern Villages can be found here.