October 2021

Alan Matlock posted on Facebook 28th October 2021

Crucial Council meeting about the future of the Shed next week.

The Southampton Council Planning Department have recommended that the Planning Panel accept their report to approve the application. We will do what we can to challenge this and at least get a ‘stay of execution’ for the Flight Shed.

The Shed can be seen, with the doors open in this still from a probably late 1940s/early 50s film taken by the family of Viv Bellamy and posted on YouTube by Martin Pengelly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8DjqbxTisAhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6OWT8pJhrM

The petition, which now has 47,700 signatures, and a selection of the supportive comments have been forwarded to the Planning Panel for consideration. Please continue to sign and share before the meeting on Tuesday 2nd November… https://www.change.org/SOSpitfireShed

The link below takes you to a report in today’s Daily Echo local paper and online news website. It sums up the current situation quite well…https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/…/19677206.trust-wants…/

Alan Matlock posted on Facebook 31st October 2021

Update on The Spitfire Flight Shed… Two days to save it!

And for anyone who’s had difficulty signing the petition here’s a new link… https://www.change.org/SOSpitfireShed which should work.

Apologies if any of the Council links are broken!

Spitfire Flight Shed hanging in the balance – public encouraged to attend Tuesday’s meeting

The City Council Planning Panel will determine the fate of Southampton’s unique Spitfire Flight Shed at a crucial meeting in the Civic Centre on Tuesday, 2nd November.

Members of the public are able to attend in person (see below) or virtually. An online link for this can be found in the online agenda here: https://www.southampton.gov.uk/…/ieListDocuments.aspx… (where the Flight Shed is the first item).

Campaigners would like as many as possible to be there to underline the huge public support for saving the Flight Shed. Nearly 50,000 have now signed the online petition: https://www.change.org/SOSpitfireShed and the signature count continues to rise.

Among those supporting the petition are two renowned Spitfire historians and authors: Dilip Sarkar MBE and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Paul Beaver, Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society VR, Chair of Aeronautical Heritage, Royal Aeronautical Society, Honorary Group Captain, No 601 Squadron, RAF Reserves. Others backing the campaign are architect Sumita Singha OBE, and Bowen (Dave) Williams, a 100 year old WWII Spitfire pilot.

Several comments in the petition reflect on how the building survived the bombing attacks by the Luftwaffe in 1940 and then demolition along with the rest of the Ford Transit Factory in 2014-15, only to now face destruction at the hands of developers.

The Council Planning Department are recommending that the Planning Panel accept their report to approve the application. This recommendation will be opposed by the Chair of the Spitfire Makers Charitable Trust, Alan Matlock, who set up the petition; Julian Temple, independent aviation heritage consultant and member of the Executive Committee of Aviation Heritage UK who are strongly opposed to the demolition of this nationally important building and local historian David Key, of The Supermariners website which first brought the story to light.

They consider that the evidence about the importance of the Flight Shed in the Council’s report is both inconsistent, incomplete, and, in significant ways, inaccurate.

In the light of this they will seek to persuade the Planning Panel to at least delay the application allowing time for a full and properly conducted assessment of the building.

You can read the report of the Council’s Interim Head of Planning and Economic Development via the online agenda (link above) or you can go directly to the report here: https://www.southampton.gov.uk/…/Combined%20with%20map.pdf

If you are able to be there on Tuesday 2nd November it’s Conference Room 3 and 4 – Civic Centre from 3.30 for 4pm start.

The Council make it clear that “…the meeting is being held observing the public health guidance necessary to try and combat the spread of Covid, complying with Covid social distancing requirements. “Space is limited and whilst every effort is being taken to ensure there is enough room it would be helpful if you could register in advance by emailing: democratic.services@southampton.gov.uk

We look forward to seeing many there on Tuesday.

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