Dispute over flying at rural airfield

A DISPUTE over the amount of flying taking place at a rural airfield in Suffolk could be resolved this month.Legal experts are sifting through a large volume of correspondence making allegations about flying activities at an airfield used by Horizon Flying Club at Monewden, near Framlingham.

By Richard Smith

A DISPUTE over the amount of flying taking place at a rural airfield in Suffolk could be resolved this month.

Legal experts are sifting through a large volume of correspondence making allegations about flying activities at an airfield used by Horizon Flying Club at Monewden, near Framlingham.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is assessing an application for a Certificate of Lawful Development for Cherry Tree Farm which, if confirmed, would allow the land to be used as an aerodrome.


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Council officers say the application is complicated but a decision is expected next week.

The current dispute over the number of flights has become increasingly bitter and after an action group campaigning against “excessive” flying erected 30 signs, 10 of them were damaged.

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In the consultation, Lord Cunliffe, a former tourism consultant living in Brandeston, said: “I find the proposal unhelpful to all those who are trying to attract tourists to the area.

“We all need to help boost the local economy in the face of declining farm incomes. Adding to the racket of life will not do this.

“It would hurt the economy, damage the quality of local life and fly in the face of commonsense environmental policy.”

David Perry, from Framsden, said: “I am absolutely clear that the type and volume of activity has increased dramatically over the last two years and is having a deleterious effect on quite a wide surrounding area.

“Activity has now increased in intensity to a level where training circuits mean that the drone of light aircraft is an almost permanent background noise, particularly in good weather and at weekends.

“The impact on the Framsden/Cretingham area is aggravated by it being one of the turning points for aircraft leaving or approaching the airfield.

“On a few occasions the drone has been replaced by the even more intrusive noise of aircraft aerobatics, including dives and rolls.”

Susan Malyn and Peter Massey, of Cretingham, claimed that the aircraft noise was eroding the tranquillity of the countryside.

“Why should this whole area of Suffolk be spoilt by a few people wanting to fly light aircraft at the expense of all the residents?

“If a licence is granted, the expansion of this airfield will give a few people pleasure and take it away from many. This cannot be right.”

But John Garrett, of Otley, has lived near the airfield for 24 years and is one of few people supporting the application.

He said: “I have never been bothered by noise from the flying activities based at Cherry Tree Farm.

“If the amount of flying doubled or increased 10 times it would still not cause me to complain. Flying, including military flights, is not a problem as it is rare and brief.”

Horizon Flying Club maintains that flight movements are not excessive, that complaints about noise have been exaggerated and “over-flights” are made by pilots from other airfields.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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