Backing for Rattlesden Gliding Club’s revised plans for flight expansion, but what will the parishes say?

Rattlesden Gliding Club has been given more time to work on its expansion proposals

Rattlesden Gliding Club has been given more time to work on its expansion proposals

A gliding club is one step closer to being able to carry out more flights after an amended version of its expansion proposals were backed.

Rattlesden Gliding Club, based in the village near Stowmarket, had wanted to extend the times it can fly to 10am-6pm six days a week. Currently it can only let gliders go up between 10am and 4pm, four days a week. Proposals to increase the number of “air movements” was also sought – from eight to 30.

But that proposal was met with widespread criticism from parish councils in the area. The village parish council, as well as Brettenham, Thorpe Morieux and Cockfield parishes, all have objections. Now, planners at Mid Suffolk District Council have recommended the proposal – which requires planning permission – for approval.

The hours and number of flights have, however, been reined back after discussions between the club and Mid Suffolk officers.

Planners have called for gliders only to fly between 10am and 4pm on any four days per week. Additional flights can take place between 4pm and 6pm between May 1 and September 30. If approved, the number of air movements would be no more than 30 a month, as proposed earlier. The Mid Suffolk paper adds: “The land shall be used only for the gliding club and for no other purpose in connection with aviation or recreation (except in the case of an emergency necessitating the use of the site for a landing).”

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Dozens of neighbours had objected to the initial plans, with concerns about increased levels noise and disturbance.

The club has said one of the main reasons to expand is so it can be more flexible and better deal with unpredictable weather.

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A Mid Suffolk committee is due to discuss the planning application on Wednesday from 9.30am at its headquarters in Needham Market.

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