For many years, Fareham Borough Council, through the local plan, has recognised Solent Airport Daedalus as being the most significant commercial development area in the borough, and has worked proactively with partner organisations to secure funding and enable investment to take place.
As one of its corporate priorities, the Council committed itself to work with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and landowners to deliver a thriving aviation-led employment area at the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus, supported by a viable airfield.
In March 2015, the Council acquired 369 acres of land at Daedalus, mainly comprising the airfield itself and two development areas to the east and west. As part of this acquisition, the Council developed the vision set out below, together with a series of objectives designed to achieve it.
On 12th October 2015, after extensive engagement with various stakeholders and a two-month period of public consultation, the Council formally adopted its vision and outline strategy for Solent Airport Daedalus, setting out its ambitions for the airfield and the wider development areas.
“Our vision is for Solent Airport Daedalus to become a premier location for aviation, aerospace engineering and advanced manufacturing businesses, creating many skilled employment opportunities for local people, under-pinned by a vibrant and sustainable airfield.
Building on the existing general aviation uses, the airfield will be an attractive destination for visiting aircraft and will offer the hangars, facilities and services to attract more corporate and commercial aviation activities, allowing it to be self-sustaining in the medium term and contribute positively to the local community.”
The objectives it set out were:
- To unlock the potential of the airfield’s land and infrastructure assets through new commercial development, providing clusters for aviation, non-aviation and skills/innovation activity, thereby increasing private sector investment and contributing positively to the creation of skills jobs in the Solent Enterprise Zone.
- To realise the potential for developing and increasing corporate/commercial aviation activity, whilst continuing to support and grow broader general aviation uses.
- To ensure that the airfield is financially sustainable in the medium to long term.
- To further improve the infrastructure and facilities at the airfield, by enhancing its quality and making it more attractive to visitors and to new business.
- To maintain a safe, secure, efficiently managed and environmentally sustainable airfield.
- To generate a sense of local pride by making Daedalus an attractive location for businesses and their employees, for users of its facilities and for the local community, and to be a good neighbour.
This report revisits the vision, three years after it was adopted, and considers the progress made in fulfilling the Council’s stated objectives for the airfield, now rebranded as Solent Airport Daedalus, and business parks. The report also looks at what has changed in this period and identifies the priorities over the next five years to ensure the continued development and vibrancy of the airport and its adjacent business parks.