FOLLOWING a lengthy debate at its Planning Committee last night, Hedon Town Council has agreed to try to ‘open avenues of communication’ with Hull City Council regarding the strip of land to the west of Hedon it owns, known locally as the ‘Hedon aerodrome’.
Leading the debate to open a dialogue with Hull (City Council), Councillor Neil Black said the town council needed to know how Hull would propose to utilise the land; he feared it was in danger of being developed by industry or for housing. The animosity that seemed to exist between Hedon and Hull councils – which could be deemed political, he suggested – threatened to lead to the situation where Hedon might be left out in the cold when it came to deciding the future of the site.
Councillors were united in opposition to development of industry or housing on the aerodrome site. Most shared concerns that Hull, who had owned the land since 1929, might eventually get permission to develop it despite it being located in the East Riding. The difference of opinion amongst councillors was over whether opening dialogue with Hull City Council would be useful.
Councillor Gordon Thurston referred to a letter sent by Hedon council one year ago (June 2014) to Hull City Council requesting information on the plans revealed in the media to establish an eco park at the site. No response had been received from Hull and this seemed to be a consistent response from them on matters regarding that land. He preferred the status quo and keeping the land, as it was, as green space.
Councillor John Dennis preferred an opposition stance to any proposed encroachment by Hull into the East Riding, claiming that Hull hadn’t given up on its intentions to expand its boundaries. The East Riding Local Plan currently being put in place by the East Riding Council supported that stance, he believed this would continue to be the case.
Councillor Geoff Bell, Chairman of Preston Parish Council was attending the meeting at Hedon’s invite, and he expressed the view that the land shouldn’t be developed for industry or housing warning that the land was included in the ‘blast radius’ of the BP site (the area that may suffer the impacts of any serious accident at BP). He’d recognised Hull’s interest in that land since the 1970’s and believed their current intention was to increase land values there in preparation for a future land sale. But Councillor Bell also was suspicious of the East Riding Council’s approach to the site, in particular its designation of the land in the Local Plan, which was in Preston parish, as ‘Saltend’ which suggested it was available for industrial use.
Councillor Steve Gallant decried any proposal to build housing on the site, which he said would create an isolated community far away from services and facilities. He believed the land was open to exploitation and so opening a dialogue seemed sensible.
Councillor Black requested the details of the previous requests for information from Hedon to Hull, he found it surprising that no responses had ever been received from Hull City Council. He was keen to ‘try, try, and try again’ to open those lines of communication. This time a letter should go to the Chief Executive of the council and its leader Councillor Steve Brady.
The issue went to a recorded vote.
Result. Hedon Town Council in conjunction with Preston Parish Council would write to Hull City Council to open up avenues of communication regarding the matter of the Hedon aerodrome site.
Note: Report based on attending the meeting and observing the proceedings and therefore does not constitute any official record of the meeting.