Clacton: Increased flying over the town won’t have an affect on residents, says county councillor

Pierre Oxley

Pierre Oxley - Credit: Andrew Partridge

A campaign group fighting expansion at Stansted Airport has hit out at proposals to route more flights over Clacton – but a local councillor doesn’t think people in the town will notice any changes.

Planes leaving the airport take one of two paths across the country, either south towards Dover or east towards Clacton.

At the moment flights during the day are split almost equally across the two routes, but a proposal by National Air Traffic Services (NATS) suggested taking almost all flights away from the southern route and sending them along the eastern path instead.

That would take the average number of aircraft passing above Clacton from 51 per day to 109 per day, according to the figures from NATS.

A statement released by the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign group said more people would be affected by the increased overflying towards Clacton than would benefit from the reduction over the Dover path.

It added the doubling of flights to the east could even double again if the airport ever reached its maximum permitted capacity.

The group also wants any proposed changes to be postponed until a review of the country’s airspace takes place in 2018/19.

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However Essex County Councillor Pierre Oxley said people living in Clacton are unlikely to be affected by the increased flying over their town.

Mr Oxley represents Clacton East on the council and said because the planes pass over so high they can’t really be heard.

“I personally don’t think it’s going to affect the area. It seems a sensible proposal,” Mr Oxley said.

“(They fly) quite high and you don’t hear much noise. I don’t think it will be much of an issue.

“I support the proposal. If they were flying lower it would be an issue, it would be a concern but we don’t hear any noise.”

Talking about whether many people from Clacton were aware of the potential changes Mr Oxley added: “I don’t think loads of people know. I think some people know about it but I don’t see it impacting on the area and I don’t think residents will have an issue with it.”

A spokesman for NATS said: “The consultation is now closed and we will take into account all feedback received during the consultation period before publishing a report of the analysis.”