Council loses bid for judicial review of decision to close airport

An application by Doncaster Council for a judicial review into the decision to shut Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has been rejected in court.

The authority had argued the airport’s owners, Peel Group, had not given enough time for a buyer to come forward with a realistic offer.

But Peel Group responded that no viable offer had been made for DSA, so said a judicial review should not be carried out.

The council says it will now focus its efforts on a Compulsory Purchase Order for the site.

Doncaster Mayor, Ros Jones, said: “While I am disappointed in this decision, we knew we had to test Peel’s decision legally and although the judge’s decision has not fallen on our side, we do not regret taking this to court.

“We have to use every legal tool at our disposal and this was one of them. The other is a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) that the council supported and we will now progress.

“We knew that the judicial review in itself would not have saved the airport as it could not have compelled Peel to reverse their decision to close Doncaster’s Airport.

“The only way this will happen is if Peel sell the airport – and the investors we identified are still talking to Peel – or if we are successful in securing a CPO of the airport site and works with the market to secure an operator.

“I remain convinced Doncaster’s airport can and should be a success and I remain committed to the fight for Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

“My thoughts as always are with those people who are losing their jobs as a result of Peel’s actions and decisions – it did not have to be like this.”

South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard, said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport is an important strategic asset to our region and Doncaster Council were right to use every avenue available to them to stop Peel closing it.

“The court’s decision does not mean Peel have been justified in their actions. It’s not right that valuable infrastructure can just be shut down, at short notice by private companies seeking to maximise their profits at the expense of our community.

“We have done everything we can to save DSA, and we will continue to work with Peel and private sector investors keen to reopen our airport, to find a viable path to a new future.”

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