Site inspection for Branscombe airfield

PUBLISHED: 10:31 15 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:54 17 June 2010

DESPITE a proposal to approve a planning application for Branscombe Airfield District Councillors decided that a site inspection should first be carried out. At a Development Control Committee meeting at the Knowle on Tuesday, councillors discussed the co

DESPITE a proposal to approve a planning application for Branscombe Airfield District Councillors decided that a site inspection should first be carried out.

At a Development Control Committee meeting at the Knowle on Tuesday, councillors discussed the contentious planning application, submitted by airfield owner David Hayman.

The proposed application is for the land to host an annual charity air day in July, to host youth air experience days, to host a Devon Strutt fly-in once a year and to allow for 250 take offs and 250 landings per year.

Councillor Mike Green, ward member for Branscombe, said at the meeting that he had been approached by several concerned residents and asked the committee to refuse the application.

He said: "It is against the policy in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is not conserving or enhancing the site."

"I do feel in the case of the three dwellings at the end of the airstrip that it impinges on their human rights."

The council's main concern was noise pollution in the area.

Although Mr Hayman submitted a noise survey which predicted there would be a "negligible increase in the overall background noise" Councillor Franklin motioned for a site inspection.

"It is a highly contentious issue not just in Branscombe but in the immediate area. I can't make a judgement without seeing if that noise is acceptable to me," he said.

Councillors were also concerned about monitoring the amount of take-offs and landings.

Councillor Buxton said that the recommendation of a log-book for the airfield should be expanded upon and that a nominated inspection officer should check the book on a "regular basis".

But Councillor Chamberlain said he believed "every movement of an aircraft has to be recorded" and these records could be looked at by the council at any time.

Councillor Tony Reed, chairman, proposed to approve the application however only four councillors voted to carry the motion.

The majority voted in favour of a site inspection which will be carried out before the application appears before the council again.

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