A PLANNING application to retain a building on Wroughton Airfield that a planning inspector ruled must be demolished has been rejected. 

After a public inquiry, it was ruled that aggregate firm Earthline had made changes to their base of operations - Wroughton Airfield - without planning permission and so it needed to tear them down. 

However, a different company - Membury Estates Ltd - applied to retain a building and hardstanding on Hanger 6 for agricultural use. 

But a decision note was filed on the council's planning portal on Thursday, November 2, indicating that planning officers had thrown the application out. 

Tom Buxton, principal planner for Swindon Borough Council, said: "Having reviewed the application submitted on the Planning Portal and the plans and documents received by this office on September 28, the Local Planning Authority consider that the development applied for is part of the operational development identified to be in breach of planning control in a pre-existing enforcement notice.

"As you are aware, the appeal against the enforcement notice (appeal reference: APP/U3935/C/20/3261411), was subsequently dismissed by the Secretary of State on August 8. 

"Therefore, the Local Planning Authority hereby declines to determine the application under 70C(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990."

This law allows a council to decline to determine a planning application where doing so would involve granting permission for "matters specified in the enforcement notice as constituting a breach of planning control".

The application received a number of strong objections from members of the public as well as South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland, Wroughton and Chiseldon Parish Council and ward councillors for Swindon Borough Council. 

A spokesperson for Wroughton Parish Council said: "This application appears to be an attempt to formalise as acceptable, a building which has already been found to be unacceptable and which must be demolished by November 8, under the terms of the Enforcement Notice issued following the public inquiry in 2022."

Membury Estate Ltd was set up in January of this year, according to its Companies House page, and the two listed directors for it are Rodney and Sheila Coplestone.

Rodney Coplestone is also currently the director for a number of businesses under the Earthline moniker. 

Earthline took over ownership of the land in 2014 and laid down hard standing to create a  lorry park, built a weighbridge and office block to house staff and added a vehicle washing area and refuelling plant without obtaining planning permission. 

In 2020, the council ordered the company to remove it all which led to an appeal to the government-appointed planning inspector and two weeks of arguments which were heard in May 2022 at the council's civic offices. 

The appeal was dismissed and Earthline was given 15 months from that point to undo everything it had done without planning permission.