The facility will allow the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity to base two helicopters at Cosford alongside offices, improved training provision and outdoor events spaces for fundraising activities.
The life-saving charity, which relies entirely on donations and fundraising to the tune of £10 million a year, says the project will allow it to operate more effectively by enabling all departments to be co-located on one site for the first time.
Plans submitted to Shropshire Council in November have now been approved by planning officers who agreed that the exceptional circumstances justified taking the land, to the north of Neachley Lane, out of the green belt.
A report by planning officer Richard Fortune says: “It is considered that a compelling case has been presented as to why the application site is the optimum location for the northern base of the consolidated Midlands Air Ambulance.
“There is substantial public benefit from the provision of this service and the case presented amounts to very special circumstances sufficient to justify this proposal for inappropriate development in the green belt.
“The proposed built form and layout of the road, parking and helicopter operating areas would not be out of keeping with the existing built form in the locality.”
The report says officers are satisfied the proposals will not cause an unacceptable impact on traffic or road safety, and there will no conflict with aircraft movements at RAF Cosford.
It concludes: “The residential amenities of the immediate locality would not be unduly harmed by these proposals, taking account of the present site context adjacent to an airfield from which the air ambulance currently operates.”
The charity currently has one helicopter based at RAF Cosford, along with two others based at Strensham in Worcestershire and Tatenhill in Staffordshire.