Villagers in flight path fury

DISGRUNTLED residents in a tiny Suffolk village last night vowed to fight plans to move an aircraft flight path over their homes - claiming the decision would shatter their tranquil existence.

Dave Gooderham

DISGRUNTLED residents in a tiny Suffolk village last night vowed to fight plans to move an aircraft flight path over their homes - claiming the decision would shatter their tranquil existence.

The idyllic lifestyle enjoyed by the few hundred residents of Thorpe Morieux, near Sudbury, could be lost forever if plans to move an aircraft holding area serving Stansted Airport are given the go-ahead.

Now concerned villagers, who warned other neighbouring communities could also suffer, have revealed they will fight any attempt to move the flight path - just weeks after residents in Sudbury were celebrating the switch away from their skies.

Thorpe Morieux resident Frances Bee said: “We feel Thorpe Morieux is one of the last areas of tranquillity and that is why people move here.

“With such a small village, you accept certain things like having no shop, school or limited public transport. But you accept that because this area is quiet and beautiful and residents are looking for a less hectic pace of life. Now that could be shattered by these plans.

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“We believe the basic design principles are flawed as it has shifted focus to low population areas. By definition, this means areas which are quiet and will be affected by the noise much more than any town.”

Mrs Bee believes villages like Lavenham, Needham Market, Cockfield, Felsham and Monks Eleigh could also suffer. And South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo, who met with worried residents on Saturday, has urged villages to join forces to fight the plans.

“I think residents in Thorpe Morieux have got a very strong case and I have always thought it was wrong that flight paths should be shifted to areas of less population density when any noise can be heard more,” he told the EADT.

NATS - formerly the National Air Traffic Service - last month launched a three-month consultation period proposing to shift the stacking zone over the Sudbury area.

A spokesman said the new proposals had been based on guidelines from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) advising avoidance of centres of population.

He added: “We would encourage people to get involved in the consultation process and not just sit back and be unhappy. We can then use this feedback to consider our position before a final decision is made.”

Mrs Bee urged residents to attend a Thorpe Morieux Parish Council meeting on Thursday evening, when members will be discussing the new flight paths.

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