CAMPAIGNERS fighting against plans to turn Sheffield’s former airport into a business park are bidding to get at least 5,000 signatures on a petition.
The Federation of Small Businesses says that many names would guarantee a debate at Sheffield Council.
Gordon Millward, the Federation’s Regional Chairman, said it would be an ‘act of sheer folly’ to get rid of the airport, which he said has a ‘major part to play in the regeneration of the city’.
“We believe that the city needs a regional airport in order to build trade and inward investment,” he said.
“We hope to see regular flights reinstated in the near future with a daily link to an international ‘hub’ airport, regular services to London and other parts of the UK and flights to other European cities.
“All this is quite feasible as long as the present airport infrastructure is retained while plans come to fruition.
“A number of investors have come forward willing to initiate a capital project to reinstate the airport and open it once more to commercial operation. They will be talking to the site’s owners in due course with a view to purchasing the site and remaining infrastructure.
“This seems to the Federation of Small Businesses a much more productive use of an existing asset, built originally at the great expense of council taxpayers, but subsequently sold – inexplicably – to private developers for the sum of £1.
“Sheffield City Council is sitting firmly on the fence, maintaining that use of the site is a private matter between the present owners and any prospective developers.”
“The FSB is embarking on a bid to force Sheffield City Council to debate the matter in open forum.”
n Visit www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/sheffieldcityairport to sign the petition.