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UPDATE: Plans to land jets at Dyson airfield Featured

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Published in Malmesbury Newspapers
Tuesday, 16 April 2019 21:33
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LATEST plans by billionaire inventor James Dyson to develop Hullavington Airfield have met hostility from a number of people living nearby.

They fear they will suffer from noise and pollution if Wiltshire Council approve the runway part of a much bigger scheme for the former military base to be used for research and development.

People have until April 18 to comment on the full plan for the construction of new hangar next to hangars 85 and 86, an extension to the existing runway, provision of new runway lighting, and new airfield fencing.

Representatives from Dyson were at a Hullavington Parish Council meeting last week and explained the applications which would allow up to 60 jet flights to land each year and 300 helicopters.

Parish council chairman Maggie Bawden said this week: “My personal opinion is that I have no objection. I think a lot of people who are complaining don’t really understand the plan.”

Stanton St Quintin parish council has written to Wiltshire Council to say it has no objection.

But people who live near the airfield disagree and are considering setting up an action group.

Kate Tanner from Stanton St Quinitin has written to Wiltshire Council to say: “As a resident of a property overlooking the airfield, I wish to strongly oppose this latest planning application - mainly due to noise and light pollution.

“Having helicopters and jets based at this site, without controlled flying times, will really impact quality of life in this village.

“Regular jet and helicopter flights over the village would totally change this lovely part of Wiltshire.”

Richard Giles from Hullavington was worried about secrecy and wrote: “The planning application does not appear to make any reference to the purpose of the development.

“Dyson purchased the airfield as a research and development location and yet the building project is for an aerodrome. It is unclear whether this is to support the original purpose or is a new or subsidiary purpose.

“It is requested that there is greater openness on the purpose of this development and the impact that this development will have on the community, particularly with respect to noise pollution and the disturbance it creates.”

A noise survey carried for Dyson and submitted to Wiltshire Council says: “The change in noise level is very modest even when assessed in the worst case situation.”

A Dyson Spokesperson said, “Dyson purchased Hullavington Airfield in 2017 and has subsequently restored the dilapidated second world war hangars into state-of-the-art engineering spaces. The airfield is now a base for Dyson’s growing automotive teams and last year we outlined plans for a Phase Two of the Airfield project. This latest planning application concerns the modernisation of the runway to enable a small number of private flights associated with managing a global company. It represents part of our continued commitment to the restoration and enhancement of the historic airfield.”

Read this article on the Gazette and Herald here...

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