Council allocates £3.1m to try and re-open closed airport

Doncaster Council is to set aside £3.1m to pursue a compulsory purchase order for the closed Doncaster Sheffield Airport. (DSA)

DSA was shut in November last year by its owners Peel L&P, despite strong opposition to the move from local and regional leaders. Peel argued the airport was not financially viable.

At a council meeting this week, funding was approved towards the legal costs of a compulsory purchase order (CPO).

However, the council has stressed this order would only be required if all other avenues – such as a sale or lease – have been exhausted.

Planning restrictions have also been put forward to make sure the airport site retains essential infrastructure.

The council has updated its plans to revive the airport in a joint statement from Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones and Doncaster’s MPs.

It said that under the South Yorkshire Airport City programme it hoped to “grow a cluster of businesses and commercial activity that complements traditional aerospace functions”.

An offer to lease the site from owners Peel was also being considered, with negotiations under way, it added.

“This is essentially a preliminary legal document which sets out the framework for a lease so it can be agreed in principle between the parties in the course of initial negotiations,” the statement said. “City of Doncaster Council has now sent that document to Peel for consideration.”

Commenting before this week’s meeting, Major Ros Jones said: “Sadly, our award-winning airport has now closed, but the fight is not over.

“Our aim is to reach agreement on the acquisition of the airport with Peel, but if necessary we will seek to compulsorily purchase the site and we are preparing for that eventuality now, should it be required.

“The acquisition process will take time and it will not be cheap. However, this airport has the potential to be the jewel in the crown of the Doncaster and South Yorkshire economy. It is an investment in the future of this great city and the region.”