End to dispute over helicopter landings

A WOMAN involved in a dispute concerning a helicopter landing in a residential garden has said there will be no more flights – after it looked as if the row was set to escalate.

Bo Maggs has told the EADT that she has no more plans to fly to the home in Angel Lane, Blythburgh.

Concerns were raised in July last year by widow Pamela Pringle, 79, who claimed her quality of life was being severely affected by the aircraft taking off and landing in her neighbour Peter Nash’s back garden.

The flights stopped in October but the helicopter returned on Saturday, April 10.

Mrs Pringle feared regular flights would resume and she and her son Hamish have been looking at the possibility of taking legal action to stop future visits.

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But last night Mrs Maggs – who lives in Surrey and met Mr Nash while looking for a landing site for her two seater Schweizer 269c helicopter – said she had no plans to return.

“I was dropped there on the 10th of this month by the person who hired my helicopter, so I could attend the Southwold Railway Trust lunch at the Blyth Hotel, Southwold,” she said. “I returned home by train, and no more flights are planned.” However, Mr Pringle, director general of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, said he would still be consulting with lawyers in an effort to secure a written agreement on behalf of his mother.

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“This is a most welcome development but we will be proceeding to take legal advice with a view to securing a written guarantee,” he said. “There’s simply too much at stake in terms of my mother’s health, her privacy, the enjoyment of her garden, the risk of accident, the damage to the estuary environment and wildlife, and of course the significant reduction in the value of her property should she try to sell it.”

In an attempt to find a solution Mrs Pringle contacted a number of agencies including the police, Suffolk Coastal District Council, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Helicopter Advisory Board and the Health and Safety Executive.

She even tried to apply for an anti-social behaviour order in a bid to stop the flights but was told that because no laws were being broken there was nothing that could be done.

Mr Pringle said he would pursue the matter after the election in a bid to force through a change in legislation to outlaw helicopter landings in residential areas.

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