Branscombe airshow cancelled

PUBLISHED: 10:43 01 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:47 17 June 2010

A CLOUD of bad feeling and confusion was hanging over the cancellation of this year's Branscombe Air Show. The show, which was expected to raise £15,000 for charity, was called off because of a clay pigeon shoot, the owners said, although the shoot has be

A CLOUD of bad feeling and confusion was hanging over the cancellation of this year's Branscombe Air Show.

The show, which was expected to raise £15,000 for charity, was called off because of a clay pigeon shoot, the owners said, although the shoot has been called off. A disappointed Ralph Cox of Branscombe Royal British Legion which started the show more than 20 years ago said: "The affair had become like a hornets nest between supporters and objecters."

He was wholly in support of the show because of the business it brought to the area and for the large amount of money the event had raised.

Mr Cox estimated £100,000 had been raised for charity since the show started. It is run by the Branscombe Classic Car and Air Group.

Owner David Hayman said: "We had every intention of an air show taking place until the police advised us a pigeon shoot had been organised by neighbours."

"Obviously it would be irresponsible to hold an air show in the circumstances so we very reluctantly had to pull the event."

Ian Weedon, office manager at the airstrip said owing to the police advice, the decision was made to inform all the people involved that the show was off.

PC Steve Speariett said he advised them of the safety issues involved with a pigeon shoot and air show in the same vicinity but also stressed planning issues. He said: "The owners were advised the police couldn't police or support an event that was illegal."

He said although no criminal law had been breeched there were planning permission issues.

These relate to there being a 28-day period in which land owners do not need planning permission for such events or to land aircraft.

An East Devon District Council spokesman said: "Use of the air strip at Branscombe for the air show, this year, would not be permitted under planning regulations as the owner would be exceeding his 28-day limit for 2008."

Answering claims that the owners had already used up the 28 days, Mr Weedon said: "It can neither be proved nor disproved if 28 days has been exceeded."

Mr Hayman said he has received no enforcement notices from the council ordering him to comply with planning laws but in the circumstances would have cancelled the show if he had permission all year around because of the dangers.

Mr Hayman said he will submit a new planning application by August 1, which he hopes will change the personal permission for use as an airstrip given to the previous owner over to his name.

He said he was massively disappointed, as, he said were others in the village. The Branscombe Village Association who organised the shoot said it was cancelled when they heard an air show was scheduled.

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