Charity air day in the balance

PUBLISHED: 11:01 07 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:49 17 June 2010

THE FATE of Branscombe Airfield s annual Charity Air Day will be determined by district councillors when they meet to discuss a controversial planning application next week. David Hayman, owner of the airfield, submitted the application for use of the la

THE FATE of Branscombe Airfield's annual Charity Air Day will be determined by district councillors when they meet to discuss a controversial planning application next week.

David Hayman, owner of the airfield, submitted the application for use of the land at Higherlands Farm as an airstrip with proposed restrictions in September.

The previous owner had been given personal permission to use the land as an airstrip, however this lapsed upon the purchase of the site by Mr Hayman in August 2007.

The planning application submitted by Mr Hayman is for the purposes of hosting an annual charity air day on the last Sunday of July each year, hosting youth air experience days, hosting a Devon strut fly-in once per year and to allow for 250 take offs and 250 landings per annum.

He had already submitted a planning application for the use of the land as an airfield earlier in the year but withdrew it before the council's committee stage was reached.

Mr Hayman said: "I am fairly positive that we have done all that is necessary over the last few months to make sure we get an application that will be accepted.

"The most important thing really is to ensure the people whose livelihoods depend on the airfield are protected."

He said that if the planning application was refused he is intending to appeal.

EDDC has received 32 letters of objections about the proposed application.

Concerns raised include increased air and road traffic, dramatic increase in noise from aircrafts and the environmental impact it will have on trees and animals.

However Mr Hayman said that the letters of objection have been "factually incorrect or not researched properly".

He added: "A lot of the objections have been quite personal and have nothing to do with the application.

"There have been nearly 10 times as many letters of support which have come from all over the country."

EDDC Councillors will decide on the future of the airfield at the Development Control Committee meeting at the Knowle on Tuesday, December 9 from 2pm.

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