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Bentwaters: RSPB hopes to resolve concerns over air base flying impact on birds

10:10 08 August 2014


Leaders of one of Britain’s biggest wildlife organisations say they are hoping to be able to resolve their concerns about proposals that could increase flying at the former Bentwaters air base.


The RSPB has not objected to the principle of aviation at the former USAF base and says not all flying causes harm to birds.

However, the society has expressed “significant concerns” in its submission to Suffolk Coastal on the blueprint for the future of the 380-hectare site, but is hoping these can be addressed before the application comes before councillors.

RSPB conservation officer Jacqui Miller said: “Our objection was on the grounds that the applicants had not provided sufficient information to fully assess the impacts of proposed flight activity on birds at designated nature conservation sites.

“This information would enable any potentially significant impacts on birds to be identified, and therefore ensure that measures can be put in place to avoid or reduce any predicted impacts.

“Bentwaters is very close to some of the Suffolk coast’s internationally important nature conservation sites, which support bird species that can be very sensitive to aircraft disturbance.

“Flying does not always result in harm to birds, however, some flights (even occasional flights) do cause disturbance, due to factors including the type of aircraft, their altitude and how long the flight is in the vicinity of sensitive species.

“We have also raised our concerns through regular correspondence with the relevant parties with the aim of resolving these outstanding issues with the application.”

Bentwaters Parks and Stansall Properties Ltd are seeking permission for 960 air movements a year – fewer than two flights a day – for a Spitfire, heritage aerobatic aircraft, some business flights, and an annual air show.

The applicants say the aim is to regularise flying and not to greatly increase the number of flights.

Planning consultant Steven Bainbridge, of Evolution Town Planning, for Bentwaters Parks, said noise assessments submitted to Suffolk Coastal were based on worst-case scenarios and not actual flying that would take place.

The applicants firmly believe their proposals sit against an established background of wider aviation activity in the area and will have no significant adverse impact on tranquillity.



  • If 'Disgruntled of Aldeburgh ' made a note of each time the Bentwaters Spitfire (i have seen other Spitfires over this area) was over aldeburgh i bet its no more than once every two to three weeks. And that is ruining the peace and quiet ? The bentwaters campaign group once said that 'there are 10 commercial flights a month going into bentwaters', well what are they ?? , just a pack of lies like everything else they have said. Also why would an aircraft want to fly where there are large amounts of birdlife ? its one of the things that pilots try hard to avoid isn't it ?.

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    Saturday, August 9, 2014

  • Nothing new here. Why has it been written? When is a decision due? That's the only story that is needed.

    Report this comment


    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • Sorry that remark was aimed towards Disgruntled of Aldeburgh

    Report this comment


    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • And how often does that happen then, yep thought not

    Report this comment


    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • How strange that this story showing the Acrobatic aircraft earlier has been taken off, could not be something to do with the peoples opinion of the NIMBYs by any chance could it.

    Report this comment


    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • Get it right! Its not the majority of Aldeburgh people complaining! Its the people who have recently moved to the Town or are only here 6 months of the year!!! If it was up to me I would reopen the site as a operating airfield once again

    Report this comment

    Andy S

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • Aldeburgh folk don't like seagulls, church bells and caravans. Now we learn they dislike that rara avis, the vintage aircraft. They do like rich people with full wallets, however gross their nocturnal behaviour. Aldeburgh vying with Southwold for the title 'most repugnant out-of-towners'.

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    Rita WAG

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • The hell with the birds. What about the noise disturbing PEOPLE. Love the Spitfire but it can be a real nuisance when it flies over us in Aldeburgh so often, doing paid-for trips over the bay for rich people to enjoy at the expense of our peace and quiet. The idea of more commercial flights is very depressing.

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    Disgruntled of Aldeburgh

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • Dear god.... I imagine the RSPB are fully subscribed to the shut down Wattisham campaign as well. We would want anything disturbing the birdies

    Report this comment


    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • Not this story line again.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Friday, August 8, 2014

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