Hangar 3 Collapses following storm Isha
The Parish Council were devastated to learn this morning that the Grade II* Hangar 3 at Old Sarum Airfield had collapsed following storm Isha. Repeated warnings have been given about the likelihood of collapse by both residents and Parish Councillors. Cover Photo courtesy of Simon Peter Millard.
Published: January 22, 2024
The cover photo was taken this morning, and shows extensive damage to the Grade II* listed Hanger 3, at old Sarum Airfield following last nights storm Isha. The photo demonstrates how the continual failure to maintain this important part of the heritage of our community has left it vulnerable to severe damage through entirely predictable events such as winter storms. It does not speak well of the ability of the owners to care for this important asset, nor of the statutory bodies who are meant to enforce the protection given to our historic buildings.
Nick Baker, Chair of Laverstock & Ford Parish Council responded to the news broken by members of the Save Old Sarum Airfield Group, by saying “Old Sarum is a living monument to those who served our countries in two world wars as well as an important part of our historical and architectural heritage. The Hangar is one of three listed former World War 1 Aircraft Hangars on the site and was first listed with Historic England, in August, 1989. It was placed on the “At Risk’ register in November 2020 following a partial roof collapse.
The current Directors of the Airfield have submitted a planning application to develop the airfield, including the building of houses. We know that the outcome of the planning application on this site is unlikely to be finalised this year, and it is clear that action cannot wait until then. We call on Wiltshire Council and Historic England to take urgent action to assess the extent of the damage and if necessary enforce the obligations law places on the owners.”
Wiltshire Cllr, Ian McLennan also responded, saying “My response is that those who own the Hangar bear the ultimate responsibility for the loss of this Grade II* listed national treasure. Given it’s listing by Historic England, they too must bear responsibility for inaction. Finally, I requested visits by Wiltshire Council, in the past, when the local view was that the structure was dangerous. On both occasions, despite visible indications to the contrary, the building was deemed safe and sound. A sad day for early military aviation heritage.”
Finally, Wiltshire Cllr Nick Botterill, By Brook division, Cabinet Member for Finance, Development Management & Strategic Planning has stated
“I am advised that WC is liaising with Historic England with a view to issuing a statement shortly about the current situation.
The Director of Planning has also advised me as to the Conservation Team’s take on the situation …
- Given the conditions and severity of the weather recently it is not surprising that there has been damage to the structure.
- Appropriate temporary works have been required by the Council to ensure public safety around the building.
- A full reconstruction of this building is required (and has been for some years) rather than just repairs or preservation works.
- A full and extremely detailed digital survey of the structure has been undertaken by Historic England’s specialist recording teams and this is now available to the owners.”