Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Great Oakley: Airfield expansion plans move a step closer

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.

shares

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.”

shares

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

An accident has caused travel delays

A 79-year-old man has died following a collision involving a trailer that had separated from a tractor as it travelled along an Essex road.

1st Woodbridge Scout Group take part in the Woodbridge carnival procession.

This year’s Woodbridge Carnival was particularly special for several reasons.

Large crowds soak up the sun and music at Music by the Sea in Aldeburgh.

A record-breaking number of music lovers lapped up the sounds of the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties and noughties on the Suffolk coast.

Seth and Eliza Gaw loved Latitude but planning was key, says dad Matt Gaw

With the mounting costs of family holidays, events like Latitude can be a genuine alternative to a traditional bucket and spade break.

A man has been arrested in the investigation

A man has been arrested following reports of a rape in Sudbury.

Mounted police officers patrol on the beach of  Sousse, Tunisia. Inset image of Stuart Cullen.

The Government is to fund a permanent memorial dedicated to the victims of the Tunisian beach massacre - including two Suffolk victims.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Ipswich Music Day, in Christchurch Park

The annual Ipswich Music Day festivities in Christchurch Park get underway at 12pm, despite the wet weather.

Police have arrested a man following the stabbing

Police in Essex have arrested a man following a stabbing which happened in Chelmsford yesterday afternoon.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Train delays through Suffolk and Essex have been caused by urgent repairs to a railway bridge between Witham and Hatfield Peveral.

Ipswich swimmer Karen Pickering at the towns Crown Pools with the medals she won at the Commonwealth Games in Canada

For years, Karen Pickering was known around Ipswich simply as ‘Swimmer’, and you can understand why, writes Sheen Grant after talking to the new mum of twin girls, Evie and Mia.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages