Public inquiry looming on airstrip use

ENFORCEMENT action has been taken against a west Suffolk landowner by council bosses, who claim he is using part of his land as an aeroplane runway without permission.

ENFORCEMENT action has been taken against a west Suffolk landowner by council bosses, who claim he is using part of his land as an aeroplane runway without permission.

Villagers have been embroiled in a war of words with Nayland Flying Club for more than 10 years over a runway strip of land at Hill Farm, Campion Hill.

Now the latest battle has seen a public inquiry launched after Babergh District Council issued the enforcement notice against Richard Harris, who owns the farm, for allegedly using a second strip to take off and land aircraft without planning permission.

A council spokesman said: “The inquiry relates to the use of a totally separate second runway on the site of Nayland Airfield which Babergh believes is a material change of use requiring planning permission. “Babergh has been monitoring the situation for a little while and has responded to the complaints of a number of local residents by taking the appropriate enforcement action, against which the owner has lodged an appeal.”


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While Mr Harris remained tight-lipped about the public inquiry, residents said the issue had divided the village.

One resident said: “This has been a problem in the village for years and years although it has been a little quiet lately.

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“Personally I don't see it as a problem but people living near the farm might have a different opinion and it probably affects them a lot more.”

Over the last few years, the long established flying group has been locked in a dispute with pressure group RESTRAIN over the number and times of flights flown from the runway, which is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Previous arguments have led to a High Court hearing and previous planning inquiries.

The inquiry will be held on November 28 at Hadleigh Town Hall, November 29 and 30 at Babergh District Council and December 1 at Hadleigh Rugby Club.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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