How Farnborough became a business airport and plans for the future.

Planning permission for business aviation

Planning permission was originally granted in 2000 to use the airfield site for business aviation, for work to bring the site up to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) standards and, established the principle for associated development such as the new air traffic control tower, hangars and terminal building.

Increase in aircraft movements

In June 2009, the airport operator submitted a planning application to increase the total number of business flight movements - from 28,000 a year to a maximum of 50,000 a year.  The application also asked for an increase in the number of flight movements at weekends and on Bank Holidays - from 5,000 a year to 8,900 a year.

We refused permission for such an increase, but the airport operator appealed successfully and in February 2011, the Secretary of State granted permission, allowing the increase to go ahead.  The appeal decisions are set out below:

You can find further details about business flight movements within the Environment Reports submitted by the airport operator and they are available on our airport monitoring page, or from the Information Reports on the Farnborough Aerodrome Consultative Committee website.

Application for the variation of Conditions 5 and 22 attached to the 2009 consent

In 2020, an application was submitted to vary conditions 5 and 22 under Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act, attached to the planning permission given in 2011. The application also included the removal of some planning conditions that had been discharged or become unnecessary since the planning permission was granted. 

The application was granted in March 2022 and has resulted in new planning permission for the entire operation of the airport. All obligations attached to the 2011 planning permission through the section 106 agreement have been transferred. In addition, the limitations on the number of aircraft movements remain unchanged.  

A summary of how the conditions have changed is detailed below: 

Condition 5

Condition 5 referred to a plan that showed the operational airport area as it was when the original 2000 permission was granted, and this was carried over when the 2011 appeal permission was issued.

Since this time the operational airport area has changed. The condition now references a new plan (PLN-GPDO-CD-001A) to correct this issue and reconcile permitted development rights within the actual operational area of the airport. 

Condition 22

Condition 22 had removed all permitted development rights for airport related development under Schedule 2, Part 8, Class F of the General Permitted Development Order. The condition has been amended to allow such permitted development rights to be partially reinstated which will support business aviation and associated airport related uses by allowing certain minor operational development to go ahead without the need for express planning permission.

The following conditions were also removed as they were no longer required:

  • Condition 1 (Timescale for implementation)
  • Condition 2 (Approved plans)
  • Condition 3 (Reserved matters)
  • Condition 4 (illustrative masterplan)
  • Condition 6 (maximum floor space)
  • Condition 21 (access)
  • Condition 24 Cycle facilities

Detailed background on the airport's planning history and appeals

To see documentation relating to the airport's planning history and appeals in full, visit the Online planning application search website.


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