Within a month on the 30th July 1999, because they were listed buildings Vauxhall Motors had to apply to the Secretary of State to have the hangars demolished. The Griffin Trust immediately sprang into action by calling on all their volunteers, colleagues and interested parties to attend a meeting at the hangar complex. Within a short period, an action group spearheaded and funded by The Griffin Trust was formed and the Save Hooton Hangars campaign was born. (SHH)
This produced a vast wave of public protest which was far-reaching and included Lord David Hunt and support from all over the world. The negotiating committee was Stephen Perry, John Langley, Ian Farquharson, Christine Thomas, Mike Lewis and Peter Richardson who then worked in the public service industries, as well as Business and Media Managers, Architects and Accountants, heavily backed up by supporters and volunteers from The Griffin Trust. Thousands of written objections, together with reports in newspapers, transport enthusiasts and the aviation press resulted in the reprieve of the hangar site. The plan was to create a charity named The Hooton Park Building Preservation Trust. Their sole aim was to obtain the funding to restore the hangars, whilst The Griffin Trust carried on keeping the site in good order and still giving access to the public.
The Freehold agreement once agreed came with an injection of funds to pay for a manager for 12 months and a substantial amount of match funding to start off the securing of funds for the restoration of the hangars. The cost of reconnecting all the services to the public systems was also to be funded by Vauxhall. It was also at this time that the main negotiating committee became fragmented as some gained promotion moved out of the area. Other individuals took their place, but some goals of the original plan were changed dramatically.