KYNETON airfield will remain at its current site at least for the life of the current hangar leases, Macedon Ranges Council has decided.
It will call on the state government for funding to develop the site. At its meeting last week, the council decided it would give the aero club about $1500 more per year to help with capital costs.
The aero club manages the airfield and pays about $8500 a year in rent to the council. About $10,000 a year will now be returned to the club for maintenance and improvements.
The airfield has been operating since 1966 and also serves as a base for the region’s emergency services.
It has two runways and in bordered by private properties on all sides.
Its 35 hangars have separate lease agreements with the council, which range from $50,000 to $100,000 for each site.
There are two stages of nine year leases with some staggered start and finish dates. The first term of the nine year leases expired in April and were continued.
Director of assets and operations Dale Thornton said the council had no legal option but to allow the second term of nine years for leases.
He said leases could be void if a breach of lease occurred.
“We have a legal obligation to act in good faith and honour the agreement. It’s not a resigning of the lease, it’s an obligation; it rolls on.”
There were 947 submissions received on the council’s opportunities and constraints study outlining possible plans for the airfield.
Eleven were objections including one petition containing 108 signatures.
The council also decided it would apply for funds from the state government for a study that will assess planning, economic, operational and community amenity of the airfield.
Aero club president Matt Henderson was pleased to see the council decision.
“It gives surety to the aero club, surety to leases and provides the opportunity for us to secure funding which both the aero club and the council were after to be able to look at the future beyond the next 10-12 years.
“Initially the idea is to get master plan or strategic plan to provide both council and the community with the long term plan for the asset.
“At the moment that doesn’t exist.”