Airfield’s future under review
Swindon Advertiser – Thursday 2nd June
AN AIRFIELD could have its right to operate withdrawn.
The Redlands landing strip, near Wanborough, is to have its planning consent reviewed by Swindon Council next month.
The move comes after complaints about the noise caused by planes taking off and landing at the strip, which is used by light aircraft for parachute jumps by skydivers.
When the airfield was given planning permission there were restrictions placed on noise from the land, and its hours of operation.
Now a study is under way by the council to see if the airfield is breaking any rules The council may decide to take no action but when the airfield’s owners appear before the planning committee in July 12 they could be told to stop operating.
“If we find there has been a breach, we could revoke their planning permission, and they wouldn’t be able to operate.
“We can change their hours of operation and there are all sorts of things in between we could do.
“The purpose is to assess whether Redlands are operating as they should, and to recommend any appropriate action.
“It’s going to be about noise, flight paths, all those issues.”
Opinion in the area is divided. One resident who will be going to the July meeting is Margaret Greenwood, of Yonder Way, Wanborough.
She said: “How intrusive is it on people’s lives? Very, very intrusive.
“I’m teaching my clients meditation, and suddenly out of the blue there’s this huge noise. I’ve actually witnessed one or two of my clients jolt.
“This causes a huge disturbance to people I’m helping.”
And Kay Lacey, 53, of Stratton Road, claims she was forced to abandon her PhD studies because of the noise.
“The noise levels are so great I can’t work inside my house,” she said.
“It’s clear many people over a large area in many villages, are seriously detrimentally affected by the noise.”
But Gary Sumner, chairman of Wanborough Parish Council, said: “I don’t know anyone who’s spoken to me that’s against them.
“It’s an extremely vocal minority who have had public meetings on it in the past, and people haven’t even bothered to turn up.
“As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t a problem. They are a legitimate business, and have full planning consent. They are doing nothing wrong.”
Sarah Smith, of Redlands, was not available to comment.
The Civil Aviation Authority, which deals with issues like low-flying aircraft, said it had received no complaints about the airfield.
No time or place has yet been scheduled for the planning meeting, but it is likely to be at the Civic Offices.