Update on Redlands Airfield
- Dale Heenan
- On March 22, 2012
Cll Dale Heenan, Last week there was a ‘locality’ public meeting held at Meadowcroft Community Centre and Redlands was on the agenda. Several residents spoke out about the continued nuisance from the aircraft circling over Covingham and Liden.
A concern was raised about the very first planning application from 1998. I’ve spoken with Planning Officers and the original file for the very first Redlands Airfield application, T/98/0298, definitely isn’t available. However they have agreed to upload the Committee report and decision notice to the Public Access website so that there is a record of it.
I have recently found a House of Commons written note from May 2010 on the nuisance of helicopters and light aircraft. This is quite pertinent so I have attached it for residents information.
There is a section on noise and it highlights that aircraft noise is exempt from the noise nuisance rules which are available to people like the Councils environmental health team. There are also details about safety in terms of minimum flying heights etc. I still believe that the law needs to change on noise and have previously written to the MP’s and Transport Minister, and will be following up again after the elections.
Since the meeting, I have again written to the CAA on the low flying during take off and circling over our houses, and asked explicitly about changes to flight paths, and the restrictions and enforcement to prevent low flying over residential areas.
Planning Officers have also confirmed that the next version of Swindon’s Core Strategy could include dealing with Redlands as part of the Eastern Villages scheme.
I have my own issues with the Eastern Villages, but my personal view is that, if the Strategy can be amended slightly then it could allow a scenario where the farm can be optioned by a developer for a small number of houses, leading to the airfield closing.
This kind of discussion would need to take place around July time with residents and the owners of Redlands. At the moment, it isn’t possible but I certainly think it warrants debate in the summer.