Dispute over badger investigation erupts as businessman continues to offer to build ‘hangar homes’ at Solent airport

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Peter Day, of Hangar Homes Ltd, said he needed access to the airfield at Solent Airport to undertake badger surveys, which – as a landowner – the council would not allow not.

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Hangar of the houses that businessman Peter Day wants to build at Solent Airport

Mr Day said council leader Councilor Sean Woodward justifies the refusal as it falls under property law.

He added: ‘However, this issue falls under planning law, in which case land ownership is not a significant factor in a development application and, therefore, the actions of Cllr Sean Woodward in refusing the access to the site are illegal.

‘At best the council has a 50/50 chance of being right, although my solicitors consider this highly unlikely given that I will be reclaiming the £35,000 I have already spent on this planning application, plus legal and court costs for both sides, the council will risk around £100,000 if they lose in court, which they most likely will.

Hangar of the houses that businessman Peter Day wants to build at Solent Airport

“It is absurd and irresponsible when a simple and free solution is available to allow the badger investigation to continue at my expense to the independent conservationist.”

In an open letter written to the council, Lawdit Solicitors say they are concerned that the council is ‘misusing its position as landowner’ to thwart planning requests from their clients.

In response, Cllr Sean Woodward said: “Mr. Day seems determined to confuse the council’s functions as a landowner with its role as a local planning authority (LPA). His lawyer’s comments appear just as perverse.

“Put simply, Mr. Day has every right to submit as many planning applications as he wants for whatever he wants.

An illustration previously published by Hangar Homes

“His current planning request will be properly processed by the PLA, like all requests.

“I have not given an opinion on the merits or not of his planning application and I will not do so either.

“The council’s role as landowner is however distinct and I have communicated to Mr Day on several occasions that whatever the decision on his development application, the council will not sell him any land for residential purposes. .

“Equally, it is the decision of the council who can enter their land, particularly when it is not a public area they wish to access – it is airside at a busy airport. He will therefore not have access to the site.

At this time, Martin Francis, airport manager of Solent Airport Daedalus, expressed concerns about the safety of the construction “and the responsibility of controlling access to the airfield by a household occupant”.

In May, Mr Day called the security concerns “nonsense”.

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