Decision details

CR/685/03/24-Approve Lease Agreement & Associated Documents for Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Decision Maker: Director of Finance and Corporate Services

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


In September 2023, Cabinet approved to delegate the decision to sign the head lease with the current owner of DSA, subject to funding being secured by CDC, to the Director of Corporate Resources in consultation with the Mayor.
Commercial discussions with the current landowners have progressed well, with significant discussions and negotiation taking place on the specific terms included in the legal agreements.
The following documents form the substantive basis of the agreement, supplemented by other specific legal documents:
• Head Lease – which provides the terms under which CDC enjoys the use of former Airport site (DSAL) + DSA04
• Deed of Easement – which brings together the different ownership of land from many Peel companies and sets out the responsibility for the ongoing management of the Waste Water Treatment Works
• Collaboration Agreement which forms the basis on which CDC and Peel working together to develop and promote Gateway East

This decision is required to confirm approval to sign the 125-year lease on 20th March 2024, to meet the timescales set by the current landowner. In doing so this provides an important step towards our goal of reopening the airport and provides the necessary legal basis (sublease) upon which the operators will have use of the Airport. This in turn provides the operators with the certainty upon which they can complete their business plans required as part of the procurement activities. There are risks associated with this approach however the bidders have indicated that a sublease is required to progress further with the procurement process. As such it is the recommended approach to achieve the overall outcome, including the significant
benefits outlined in the outline business case, which have been fully documented in South Yorkshire Airport City – Outline Business Case, 6th December 2023, report.

Further information is contained within the ODR attached.


Approval to sign the 125-year Lease Agreement & Associated Documents, with the current owner, for Doncaster Sheffield Airport covering former Airport site (DSAL) & DSA04.

Alternative options considered:

An alternative option could be, to decide not to approve the lease. Although there are many uncertainties and unknowns, this option has been rejected, on the basis if the Council does not approve the lease now, we have been informed the lease option would no longer be available.
This would add a significant delay and result in the benefits outlined in the Outline Business Case (OBC) no longer being achievable.
The risks associated with taking this decision now, prior to an operator being obtained, have been weighted against the anticipated benefits identified. Considering the strategic importance of DSA and the major economic development potential associated with the airport. Prior to its closure DSA made a very significant direct and indirect contribution to the local economy and local communities. Successful delivery of SYAC programme has the potential to dramatically
increase the economic impacts associated with DSA and secure catalytic economic change.
The weight of public support for reopening the airport, the scale of the economic opportunity it presents.

Publication date: 15/04/2024

Date of decision: 20/03/2024

Accompanying Documents: