Plane noise concerns rise in Suffolk

PEOPLE in Suffolk plagued by plane noise above their homes will face more misery with a massive increase in air traffic, it has been claimed.In March this year, air traffic en route to Stansted was redirected from the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding National Beauty to fly over an area North West of Ipswich, prompting anger from newly affected residents in the Box and Stour Valleys.

PEOPLE in Suffolk plagued by plane noise above their homes will face more misery with a massive increase in air traffic, it has been claimed.

In March this year, air traffic en route to Stansted was redirected from the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding National Beauty to fly over an area North West of Ipswich, prompting anger from newly affected residents in the Box and Stour Valleys.

Residents claimed their tranquil lives were being "shattered" by the noise from the influx of planes on the route, which is an overflow path from a holding stack, where planes queue before landing, currently in use above Sudbury.

Now pressure group Stop Stansted Expansion(SSE) is warning Suffolk residents they must now prepare themselves for the effects of a new runway at Stansted and the increased air traffic it would bring across the county.


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The news comes as Woodbridge Town Council calls for a meeting with National Air Traffic Services (NATS) to discuss the increasing number of planes passing over the area.

SSE campaign director Carol Barbone said: "The new runway means that they are trying to quadruple the number of passengers through Stansted and increase the number of freight flights through the airport.

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"While it is impossible to say exactly how many more flights this would mean it is clear it would mean a large increase in the number of planes flying over the county and over built up areas like Sudbury and I think the people of Suffolk are now having to prepare themselves for that."

The SSE has been invited by Sudbury Town Council to address a meeting tomorrow in order to inform local residents that they may be affected.

Mrs Barbone said the group would also advise in the ways it plans to combat the expansion of the airport and said it would work closely with the newly formed South Suffolk Air Traffic Action Group(SSATAG), to help mount a campaign against the increased traffic.

The new group will officially launch itself later this month and some of the key members of the SSATAG will be at next week's meeting, along with SSE chairman Peter Sanders.

The increased air traffic over the region has also raised objections from South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo, who called a meeting in September attended by 130 people to discuss the matter.

Mr Yeo said: "I think most people acknowledge we are very fortunate to have Stansted Airport and it is of great benefit to the region and much more convenient than the other London airports, everyone accepts it is here to stay whatever happens with the new runway.

"It is accepted there is going to be some price to pay for that, but I think the feeling is the price is currently too high and a balance needs to be struck."

People in Woodbridge also say there has been an increasing number of planes passing over the area, and although they are flying at 15,000ft or above, there are claims their engines can be heard in the town. Woodbridge town councillors have asked NATS officials to attend a meeting to discuss the upsurge in plane movements.

Ben Redsell, county councillor for the area, said: ''There is increasing traffic. We can hear it and we are noticing more aircraft.''

A spokesman for the British Airports Authority at Stansted said the future of a second runway had not been confirmed and the matter was still at the consultation stage, with a planning application not expected to be ready until 2006.

She said it was therefore impossible to gauge what increase in air traffic this would mean and that route of flights generated would not be decided by the BAA but were a matter for the Directorate of Air Space Policy.

The meeting in Sudbury with SSE is open to all concerned about the extra air traffic and will take place at Sudbury Town Hall tomorrow at 8pm.

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