Have your say on plane stacking

CAMPAIGNERS fighting proposals to create a new stack for Stansted-bound jets over some of Suffolk's most idyllic countryside may challenge the move in the courts.

Richard Cornwell

CAMPAIGNERS fighting proposals to create a new stack for Stansted-bound jets over some of Suffolk's most idyllic countryside may challenge the move in the courts.

NATS - formerly National Air Traffic Services - want to have the stack between Stowmarket and Hadleigh, arguing it would mean less people affected by aircraft noise than at the moment.

But protesters say 37 villages would be affected and a plane every two minutes would shatter their peaceful lives.

The planes would fly in directly over Felixstowe and part of Ipswich to reach the stack.

The Save Our Silence Action Group is now looking at whether the plan can be stopped by the courts.

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Chief campaigner Frances Bee, who lives in Thorpe Morieux, near Lavenham, said: “We are looking into the possibility of legal action and we will be meeting with specialist solicitors.

“It is very early days and no decision has yet been made but we would like to know if we have grounds for some kind of challenge.

“We would urge all towns and villages in Suffolk to see if the plans could affect quality of life.

“We feel there are a number of places where residents do not realise the potential impact of the proposals.”

Mrs Bee, who has now submitted a list of 20 questions to NATS, said a large part of the county could be affected by the flight path changes, especially if Stansted and Luton airports were expanded.

Suffolk Coastal District Council has asked town and parish councils in its area to respond to the plans and send in their views to the authority, while Mid-Suffolk District Council's environmental policy committee and Babergh District Council's strategy committee has recommended objecting to the proposals.

NATS' proposals have also generated concern in the Newmarket area where a new, second Stansted stack - needed to cope with the growth of the airport - is proposed and West Suffolk MP Richard Spring has met officials to discuss the situation.

Consultation closes on May 22. A NATS spokesman said: “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.”

Do you think more planes should be allowed to fly over Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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