Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

Great Oakley: Airfield expansion plans move a step closer

PUBLISHED: 09:29 27 November 2012

Christopher Shepherd-Rose of Skyward flight training, Great Oakley Airfield, Great Oakley, Harwich.

Christopher Shepherd-Rose of Skyward flight training, Great Oakley Airfield, Great Oakley, Harwich.

CONTROVERSIAL plans for the expansion of an airfield in Essex have been recommended for approval.

The owner of Great Oakley Airfield submitted two retrospective planning applications to Tendring District Council (TDC) to allow flying training and helicopters to operate from the site.

The move followed a complaint from district councillor for Great and Little Oakley Tom Howard, who said the owner was in breach of planning regulation.

Under current rules, up to 30 flight movements a day are permitted but it does not grant flight training or helicopter usage.

However, last year, Skyward Flight Training opened offering one-off lessons and Private Pilot Licence (PPL) training.

Airfield owner Tim Spurge said he was also seeking permission for helicopter usage because it would benefit offshore wind farms in Harwich when executives visit the site.

The move has prompted 100 letters of objection from some local residents who say the planes cause nuisance noise.

But the council has also received letters of support from pilots and other residents.

On Saturday, officers at TDC released a report recommending the applications be approved by councillors at the next planning meeting.

The report states that the noise impact resulting from the proposals would be low and not “significant.” It also says that any earlier breaches of planning regulations would not be sufficient reason to refuse the applications.

However, a number of conditions have been set-out, including no take-offs or landings between 9pm and 8.30am, no circuit training on Sundays and public holidays, while all flights must be logged to monitor movements.

The current limits on flight movements would also remain with no more than 30 take-off movements in a day and no more than 3,650 take-off movements in a year.

Officers also say allowing helicopter usage will help to support business and provide a landing area for refuelling for the police helicopter and air ambulance.

Great Oakley resident Dawn Stevens, who opposes the applications, said: “I am very disappointed. When it comes to the helicopter application, there are already facilities at Harwich should business people and the offshore maintenance people need to use it.

“A local doctor’s surgery, which serves about 3,000 people, has also objected because of the noise but the council does not seem to have taken that into consideration.”

Mr Howard said: “It’s not a good start but the door is still open.”

Both Mr Howard and Ms Stevens said they would be speaking against the applications at the meeting on December 4.

Airfield owner Tim Spurge reacted with caution. He said: “We still have to wait for the planning committee to make their decision so we’ll see how it goes on the night.”

1 comment

  • You have not reported the facts correctly. I am a resident of Gt Oakley and there are over 400 objections logged with Tendring District Council - not 100 as stated. Also, the local doctor presented petition of some 2700 signatures. Which have mysteriously been lost by TDC... Anyone might think this application was a forgone conclusion.

    Report this comment

    Victoriahughes

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

The death toll from the Manchester bomb attack has risen to 22, with 59 injured, Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins said.

Our new-look Suffolk nostalgia series launches with a glance back to a highlight of the coastal calendar - Aldeburgh Carnival.

A motorist who was petrified of going to prison after committing his fourth drink-driving offence has been branded as “selfish” and “ignorant” by the mother of a Suffolk man killed by a drink-driver.

One of Ipswich’s most prolific pilferers has become the first shoplifter to be given a criminal behaviour order banning him from all the shops in the town centre.

Couples thinking about having a baby are invited to meet fertility experts at an information day.

The hoardings around a new Joules store under construction in Ipswich have come away, revealing the brand’s trademark yellow facade.

A woman believed to be in her 20s is fighting for her life in hospital after she was hit by a lorry on a dual carriageway in Suffolk today.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24