Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

Bentwaters: Campaign group is reactivated to fight flying proposals at former USAF air base

PUBLISHED: 13:39 15 May 2014 | UPDATED: 13:39 15 May 2014

Bentwaters

Bentwaters

Archant

Extra time is to be given for people to comment on a new masterplan for the former Bentwaters military air base amid growing concern that there could be more flying from the site in future.

The Bentwaters Campaign Group (BCG) has been reactivated to fight the proposals, saying an increase in aircraft noise would have a huge impact on the tranquillity of the coasts and heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The masterplan for the 380-hectare former USAF base has been submitted to Suffolk Coastal by the site’s owners and aims to formalise its current and future use, and traffic movements.

Included are proposals for 960 air movements a year, the housing of seven aerobatic aircraft, plus an airshow and additional business flights.

BCG leader Mike Sherwen said: “Once flying is permitted in planning law it becomes impossible to control the aircraft.”

He said any aircraft could be allowed, at any time of day or night, to fly anywhere permitted by the CAA, with no control over noise.

The application stipulates seven aerobatic aircraft can be kept at Bentwaters, leading to fears that initially the majority of flights will be aerobatic aircraft, which BCG says are “the most persistent noise creators, flown mainly on the sunniest days in the best of the weather” when people are enjoying their gardens and the countryside.

Mr Sherwen said: “This is not about the Spitfire that flies from Bentwaters, it’s about the long-term implications.

“Once planning for flying is granted, it can’t be taken away.

“Over the years ahead, we could face a permanent, growing aircraft industry at Bentwaters, and the insidious degradation of our currently tranquil environment, and the jobs it supports.”

Plans for a major civil airport at Bentwaters were defeated in 1999, and HM Inspectorate said civil aviation would not be allowed.

Suffolk Coastal council has extended the public consultation period to mid June.

Steven Bainbridge, of Evolution, agents for the application, said although the application is described as a “change of use”, the owners are not seeking to carry out any new activities if it is approved.

“The planning application seeks to regularise the current uses,” he said. “We are not looking to expand on that – just formalise the things that are already in place”.

Anyone with concerns is invite to contact Evolution on 01359 233663.

Related articles

Thousands of people have headed to Jimmy’s Farm in Wherstead today for the first day of one of the biggest events on its calendar: Jimmy’s Festival.

A baby born with a rare disease that causes such severe muscle weakness that even breathing, eating and swallowing become difficult for her has received support from a Suffolk charity.

Families in Ipswich needn’t have ventured far to hit the beach as a sandy retreat began its summer-long stint in Christchurch Park.

A man accused of brandishing a fake gun in Ipswich has been detained to appear at crown court next month.

Regional housebuilder Persimmon Homes celebrates its apprenticeships programme.

Libraries face a challenging future under Brexit – but determined Suffolk communities will put up a fight to help them survive.

A petition has been launched to continue the landfill search for missing Corrie McKeague following the news that it has been called off.

Ipswich Town fans have shown their disgust for a billboard in the town showing off Norwich City’s new home kit - by attempting to tear it down.

A person has been taken to hospital after an incident in Christchurch Park in Ipswich this morning.

A Bramford motorcyclist who has admitted causing the death of his pillion passenger through dangerous driving by having a defective rear tyre has been warned he could be jailed.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24