Michael Gove backs campaign group’s ‘compelling alternative’ to controversial Fairoaks Airport garden village plans

January 29, 2018
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The group campaigning against turning Fairoaks Airport into a garden village has presented a “compelling alternative vision” for the site, according to local MP Michael Gove .

Mr Gove, the environment secretary, joined residents at a community event in Chobham over the weekend (January 27 and 28) to hear proposals from Fairoaks 2020 , the group formerly known as No Fairoaks New Town.

The plans put forward by Fairoaks 2020 are centred on maintaining the site as an airport, which it claims will provide jobs for the local community and have a limited impact on the environment, compared to the proposed new town.

According to the group, there is “an unparalleled opportunity for the airport to become a centre of aviation excellence, within the heart of Surrey Heath, contributing significantly to the local and regional economy and the wider aviation industry”.

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Fairoaks Airport

Douglas Mancini, chairman of Fairoaks 2020, said there had been an “overwhelming response from the public.”

He said: “They are very much in favour of Fairoaks staying as an airport with modest but very impactful development for two things: more benefit to the local community as a community hub and more financial benefit to the owners of the airport as well as to the local economy in general.”

The proposals for the airport include refurbishing the existing hangars and building new maintenance facilities and a new control tower.

The group also proposes to create a new “College of Aviation Engineering and Training”, additional flight training facilities, offices and a hotel with up to 50 rooms.

Douglas Mancini presents Fairoaks 2020’s vision for the airport
(Image: Grahame Larter/Surrey Advertiser)

Surrey Heath MP Michael Gove said: “Douglas Mancini has been a very impressive campaigner in order to ensure that we don’t have a new town on Fairoaks and here he’s presented a compelling alternative vision.

“It makes sure that the debate that we have about the future of this site is properly informed and that there is an alternative to overdeverlopment, and an alternative that can create jobs, preserve the environment and also make sure a really valuable airport site is there for the future.”

Members of the public inspect Fairoaks 2020’s proposals
(Image: Grahame Larter/Surrey Advertiser)

Fairoaks 2020’s proposals are an alternative to plans unveiled in January 2017 to replace the airport with 1,500 homes and community facilities including a school, a health centre and a pub.

Concerns regarding the development’s impact on traffic congestion, local services and the environment sparked strong opposition from residents in the area, spearheaded by the group behind Fairoaks 2020.

A petition against the new town gained more than 5,000 signatures in July 2017, but was rejected by Surrey Heath Borough Council .

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Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/michael-gove-backs-campaign-groups-14215667


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