Businessman hopes to build hangar homes with space for a plane in the garage
Entrepreneur Peter Day, of Hangar Homes, hopes to mix aviation, business and leisure at Solent Airport.
He said his idea for a home and aircraft hub at the airfield, in Lee-on-the-Solent, is a ‘visionary’ scheme.
He has already ploughed £100,000 of his own cash into the project, together with four years of planning.
Now he has an uphill battle as planners at Fareham Borough Council have criticised the proposal.
The Hangar Homes scheme would involve five separate hangars, with a ground floor for business use, residential quarters upstairs and space for a four-seater Velocity kit light aircraft.
Mr Day said the scheme is a great opportunity for the former Daedalus site.
He said: ‘This scheme is something that we are lagging far behind other parts of the world on – especially America.
‘I want Lee-on-the-Solent to be the first site for these homes, because it is my home airfield.
‘I have invested a lot of time and money into this already – more than £100,000 and four years of planning have gone into this project.
‘There is certainly support among those in the flying community and local residents, but those who have taken issue to it are the planners at Fareham and Gosport Borough Councils.’
He added: ‘None of the planning officers are pilots, so I don’t think they understand how revolutionary this scheme is, and the benefits it would have.
For his plan to go ahead, Mr Day needs approval from both councils.
In a statement, Fareham Borough Council planners said: ‘The proposal fails to provide significant levels of either aviation related employment or housing and does not represent an efficient use of the site.
‘It has not been adequately demonstrated that the proposal would not have an adverse impact on the operation of the airport which could prejudice Fareham Borough Council’s vision for Daedalus as a strategic development allocation.’
Mr Day said: ‘It seems that both councils’ main concern is that the proposed scheme is not an ‘efficient use of the site for housing or employment’.
I would argue that it is, because the site is unsuitable for conventional homes or business-only units, meaning no homes and no employment, which is not the case with the ‘live/work’ hangar homes that would provide both.
‘As for the heritage centre that Fareham Borough Council wants on the site, whilst we’ve withdrawn the application because of their concerns over parking, we have left sufficient space for them to build one between the hangar homes and their Visitor Centre.’
The application has received 46 public responses – including from a college based at the site.
Paul Brimecome, head of engineering at CEMAST College, said: ‘With the prospect of Velocity UK being housed here this would offer an excellent opportunity for aerospace students to get involved in the building of the aircraft on Daedalus.
‘It has been agreed that part of our aerospace year two students’ project will be building their own Velocity craft.’