DYSON’S ambitious plans to build a 500-acre technology campus in Hullavington could be an “asset to the community”, according to the parish council chairman.
Councillor Maggie Bawden Rawsthorne, chairman of Hullavington Parish Council, has said she is confident the research and development centre will be “done properly”, after Dyson have submitted their first in a string of planning applications for the site to Wiltshire Council.
The first application for site concerns what will be done with hangars 85 and 86 on the former military site in north Wiltshire.
The hangars will be used for office and workshop space and a temporary car park has also been proposed, and architects of the plans, WilkinsonEyre, said they want to keep some of the history of the building alive.
Cllr Bawden Rawsthorne, who moved to the area with the Royal Air Force (RAF) 50 years ago, was pleased to hear Dyson would uphold the tradition of the site.
“I’m very fond of the airfield, as are most people in the village,” she said.
“The fact that Dyson is going to develop the airfield with respect to heritage is very pleasing.
“I think majority of village is relieved that it’s Dyson. There were so many rumours about the future of the airfield.
“I think it’s in safe hands. I, personally, am not at all apprehensive. I think it’ll be a real asset to the community.”
Referring to the site’s heritage, the design and access statement for the site, released in the planning application, says: “Due to their powerful appearance and history, we felt strongly to retain the two buildings and restore them to their former glory whilst updating them so that they are able to adapt to modern working environment.”
Dyson will be bringing forward proposals for the wider Hullavington site through a “comprehensive masterplan” approach.
Cllr Bawden Rawsthorne said: “It all hinges on the master plan.”
The planning statement for the application added: “As part of the wider masterplan, parking arrangements will be considered on a site wide basis and brought forward to serve the whole site, including the two hangars forming part of this current application.
“Therefore, the car park now proposed is temporary until the wider masterplan is brought forward.”
Residents can make comments on the plans until Thursday, April 13, with the target date for a decision being Monday, May 8.
The plans can be seen online at wiltshire.gov.uk