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Tiger Club members in High Court battle with Headcorn Aerodrome after eviction notice

An aviation club faces eviction from Headcorn Aerodrome after nearly 25 years at the base.

Tiger Club (1990) Ltd is embroiled in a dogfight with Weald Air Services which has gone all the way to London’s High Court.

It has been a tenant of the Shenley Road premises since 1990, after relocating from Redhill in Surrey, but was served with an immediate eviction notice in March.

Woodchurch Tiger Club have been threatened with eviction
Woodchurch Tiger Club have been threatened with eviction

The club argued it was entitled to receive more notice and at a hearing, Mr Justice Morgan ruled the eviction notice to be invalid.

He granted an injunction which ruled the club can remain on the site for the next three months but did not say whether the airfield could issue another eviction notice.

For now it is permitted to fly to and from the airfield, in compliance with aviation rules. It can also occupy two classrooms, a shed and store up to eight aircraft in the hangar.

The judge said: “It seems to me that there is a good arguable case that the arrangement between the parties is a contractual one covering the use of the buildings and the hangar and aerodrome, such contract being terminable on reasonable notice.”

As well as the risk of eviction in three months’ time it must pay £6,200 in court expenses, show it has a further £50,000 if needed and pay cash in demand for fuel and oil at the market rate.

A windsock at Headcorn Aerodrome
A windsock at Headcorn Aerodrome

Lawyers at the airfield argued against the injunction and said being stripped of the ability to choose who flew on its ground may put its Civil Aviation Authority licence at risk. The judge ruled this is not likely.

Club lawyer, Caroline Waterworth, told the judge aircraft are now “scattered across the four winds” in different airfields.

She said it was difficult to find alternative hangar space suitable for the primarily wooden planes and added it paid 11.25% of the flying revenue generated at Headcorn plus additional hangarage and fuel charges.

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