Little Staughton airfield’s £1.4m hangar cleared for take off

Plans for Little Staughton airfield get the go-ahead

Plans for Little Staughton airfield get the go-ahead - Credit: Archant

A new £1.4 million hangar is to be built at a Second World War bomber base to enable the commercial maintenance and repair of aircraft to go-ahead.

Work on the building, for leading aircraft firm IAE, is expected to start this month and be complete by September after the scheme was given the green light by Huntingdonshire District Council.

Bedford Borough Council, whose area includes part of the airfield, also cleared the hangar scheme for take-off.

IAE is planning to expand from its present base at Cranfield airfield in Bedfordshire bringing in 25 staff, five of which are new jobs.

The scheme includes the hangar of more than 28,000 sq ft, hardstanding and parking.

Great Staughton Parish Council objected to the plan over concerns of increased flying and traffic and there was also opposition from a number of residents who were concerned about the impact the hangar would have on the area.

Historic England had concerns about the effect on the area’s heritaqe, including Bushmead Priory and its Grade I listed refectory.

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IAE expects to have between 15 and 20 aeroplanes in the hangar at any one time and to make between five and 10 flights a day.

The district council said in its planning documents: “The application site is considered to be of sufficient separation distance from the nearest existing properties and, as such, is considered to have no detrimental impact, overlooking, loss of privacy or loss of light.”

It added: “Overall, it is considered that the proposed use of the site would not have a significant detrimental impact upon the amenities of existing adjacent or future occupiers of the site.”

The council also concluded that there would be “less than detrimental harm” to heritage.

Formed in 1997, IAE Ltd is owned by Garry Joyce and Andy Baker who took control of the company in 2006 as part of a management buy-out and have continued to grow the company into one of the leading aircraft maintenance companies in the UK.

Mark Pepper, of property firm Kirkby Diamond, which is involved in the plan, said: “This is a really interesting project and we are delighted to be involved.

“IEA is investing heavily in this fantastic new facility which will provide vital support services for aviation across the region.”

The airfield was a Second World War bomber base and military flying there ended in the 1950s. Civilian aircraft have operated there and the airfield also has business uses.