More planes - or not

SUFFOLK MP Sir Michael Lord today found himself in the middle of a mystery after his constituents complained about more aircraft noise.Sir Michael has resumed the battle over plane stacking over his constituency – but the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) insisted the reserve stack over his constituency had not been used yet.

SUFFOLK MP Sir Michael Lord today found himself in the middle of a mystery after his constituents complained about more aircraft noise.

Sir Michael has resumed the battle over plane stacking over his constituency – but the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) insisted the reserve stack over his constituency had not been used yet.

And they insisted that if it was used, the aircraft would be too high for anyone to hear.

The Evening Star revealed last year that NATS had bowed to pressure from residents of Constable Country and move the reserve area used to "hold" planes waiting to land at Stansted airport.


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They created a new holding area in the Henley area of Sir Michael's Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency.

The MP took up the case with NATS and was assured the area would only be used when the main holding area near the airport itself was being fully used.

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However he has now heard a number of complaints from his constituents about increased aircraft noise.

He felt his constituents had been made to suffer by a vociferous campaign from residents in north Essex.

"Originally this stacking was planned to be further south. Now it has been inflicted on us.

"I intend to ensure that whatever effects this stacking has it is carried out in the fairest and most sensible way possible," he said.

However a spokesman for NATS insisted they had not used the stack to the north of Ipswich.

"This is a reserve we use when the stack near Sudbury is full – and that hasn't happened yet," he said.

"Even if we do use that stack, the planes will be flying at between 15,000 feet and 21,000 feet – and at that height no one on the ground will be able to hear them anyway.

"We are puzzled by the increase in noise, but it certainly has nothing to do with us," he said.

Have you heard more aircraft to the north of Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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