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Threat to airfields through new planning statement wording

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  • Skybolt
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Nov 2003
    • 534

    Threat to airfields through new planning statement wording

    The GAAC has highlighted the continued threat to airfields which might be considered "brownfield" sites for redevelopment. This brought about by a new planning policy statement from central government's Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). I have emailed my local MP asking for his help as follows -

    I am disturbed by the recently published Planning Policy Statement PPS3 Housing which, despite assurances to the contrary given by the then ODPM, omits a vital few words relating to airfields.

    These were previously included in the, now superceded, Planning Policy Guidance PPG3 Housing where a footnote relating to the development of "brownfield" sites stated -
    However, this does not mean that the whole area of the curtilage should therefore be redeveloped. For example, where the footprint of a building only occupies a proportion of a site of which the remainder is open land (such as an airfield or hospital) the whole site should not normally be developed to the boundary of the curtilage.

    This meant that an airfield, which may only have a very small area of land covered with buildings, should not all be treated as previously developed land. This was a sensible approach, especially given the Governments stated aims that development should be sustainable. As the majority of airfields are located in relatively remote rural areas, it is highly likely that a major re-development of such a site would have poor physical and functional linkages to settlements. This would render future occupants heavily dependent upon the car and therefore be unsustainable.

    The new statement PPS3 Housing was issued on 29th November 2006. Despite all the representations made by the General Aviation community, and indeed assurances from MPs that this was just a slip of the pen, it does NOT include the vital footnote. This is serious.

    PPS3 does contain a paragraph that states:
    There is no presumption that land previously developed is necessarily suitable for housing development nor that the whole of the curtilage should be developed.

    However, while this reflects the gist of the previous advice, it is far less specific and makes no reference to airfields. Furthermore, it does not give any guidance on the extent or distribution of development. Given that there is a continuing emphasis upon developing brownfield, or previously developed, land (paragraphs 10, 36, 40, 41 and 44 of PPS3 refer, for example), this renders airfields increasingly vulnerable. While the isolated rural locations of some sites mean that they will fail other tests such as sustainability it leaves those sites that are closer to centres of population as clear targets.

    Other Central Government advice, such as that embodied in PPG13 Transport, does balance the case a little by emphasising the importance of GA

    At the CAA General Aviation conference held on November 21, the Minister for Aviation at the Department for Transport stated:
    We (the DfT) understand the value of maintaining a network of general aviation airfields not just to you (the GA Community) but to all of us. And I can can confirm today that we are looking at how to move this forward, including the possibility of a national policy statement. It would seem that her welcome words might have been a little premature in view of the subsequent publication of PPS3 by the DCLG only a week or so later.

    I trust you will excuse my bringing this to your attention however my concern as to the potential threat to existing and possible future airfields represented by the wording of PPS3 and its interpretation by local planning authorities is very real. Any representations you could make on behalf of myself and that of the General Aviation fraternity would be much appreciated.

    Something on these lines to your own local MP might have some effect. I do hope so.

    Cheers,

    Trapper 69
    :diablo:
  • low'n'slow
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Sep 2006
    • 1436

    #2
    SIGN THE PETITION!!

    In addition to all the other lobbying that's going on with this, I have taken advantage of a new initiative at No.10 Downing Street to place a petition on their website.

    I very much doubt that Tony Blair - on one of his forthcoming trips to the UK - will get to read it, but you never know. Its certainly worth taking the minute or so to add your name!


    Thanks Trapper for the wording. I hope you didn't mind me cutting it a little to fit in their 1000 letters limit!


    Webbies. Any chance of making this a sticky. I want to have an airfield to fly from in the future!!
    www.lightaircraftassociation.co.uk

    Comment

    • Skybolt
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Nov 2003
      • 534

      #3
      Steve,
      Many thanks indeed for the innovative petition link. I have signed it. Hope others feel motivated to do so.
      Cheers,
      Trapper 69
      :diablo:

      Comment

      • oag
        oag
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Jan 2004
        • 492

        #4
        Petition signed and a link passed around my e-Mail address book
        let's hope it does some good
        Colin
        Publicity & Tickets Co-ordinator
        Abingdon Air & Country Show

        www.abingdonairandcountry.co.uk

        Comment

        • GASYD
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Aug 2004
          • 166

          #5
          Thank Steve,

          Signed and passed on to friends,

          Nik

          Comment

          • BlueRobin
            Fast Moderator
            • Jan 2000
            • 3311

            #6
            Done. Have you seen the complete Petition List though? http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/list

            I am half-minded to go and see my MP at a surgery concerning this and the proposed readjustment of fuel taxes for "private flying". How do I go prepared though?
            See how they wheel, bank and glide? Perfect. All in one.

            Comment

            • BlueRobin
              Fast Moderator
              • Jan 2000
              • 3311

              #7
              Barry lots of people are signing the online petition which is good in that it shows widespread support, however there's nothing to say any human will get to act on the issues entered.

              Therefore I feel it is key people still write in.

              I'd like to do a visit face-to-face but the preparation is too great and I may fluff my presentation. Better to get it all down in writing eh?

              I am adapting the PPS concerns in an email to my MP at the moment. I will BCC you when complete.



              N
              See how they wheel, bank and glide? Perfect. All in one.

              Comment

              • Skybolt
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Nov 2003
                • 534

                #8
                I really do feel it is vital to use all practicable means of getting our concerns over.

                There is no doubt that your local MP is more likely to help one of his constituents as a result of a letter, fax or email. After all, it is your vote that might re-elect him or her in the future.

                I am a little sceptical on how much weight might be given to the petition to the Prime Minister especially when one appreciates just how many petitions there are and how much support they have received. It has to be recognised that the general aviation fraternity is very much a minority in the population as a whole.

                Cheers,

                Trapper 69
                :diablo:

                Comment

                • Arm Waver
                  Certified...
                  • Mar 2004
                  • 3074

                  #9
                  I've added my name to it too.
                  I may not fly (although who knows what will happen in the future) but I want to be able to have somewhere and something to arm-wave at.
                  It is only kinky the first time...

                  Comment

                  • BlueRobin
                    Fast Moderator
                    • Jan 2000
                    • 3311

                    #10
                    t is your vote that might re-elect him or her in the future
                    Er actually not in my case, a constituency boundary change will take place for the next election. My small town of 6000 people will have the constituency at its centre so we will in effect have our own new MP

                    Still worth writing in though.

                    Write to Lembit Opik also? He seems quite keen on his flying hobby and can feed the issue into the All-Party Aviation Group he is involved with.
                    See how they wheel, bank and glide? Perfect. All in one.

                    Comment

                    • BlueRobin
                      Fast Moderator
                      • Jan 2000
                      • 3311

                      #11
                      Done my bit, you also have a mail Barry
                      See how they wheel, bank and glide? Perfect. All in one.

                      Comment

                      • cadaha
                        Junior Member
                        • Dec 2006
                        • 28

                        #12
                        Placed on PPL UK site as well SkyBolt

                        Comment

                        • BlueRobin
                          Fast Moderator
                          • Jan 2000
                          • 3311

                          #13
                          I got a response back about the fuel duty issue, but nothing about the PPS3 even though the emails were sent at the same time. I wonder if my MP's PA has got muddled? I'll chase up after the new year.
                          See how they wheel, bank and glide? Perfect. All in one.

                          Comment

                          • Skybolt
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Nov 2003
                            • 534

                            #14
                            I got a letter from my MP on Saturday to say he had written to the relevant department enclosing my email. He will get back to me with the response.
                            Cheers,
                            Trapper 69

                            Comment

                            • BlueRobin
                              Fast Moderator
                              • Jan 2000
                              • 3311

                              #15
                              Trapper, I have had a reply from my MP by email. He's looking into and will get back to me in Jan.
                              See how they wheel, bank and glide? Perfect. All in one.

                              Comment

                              • Joe Petroni
                                Auster Aviator
                                • May 2003
                                • 645

                                #16
                                Just to bump this up, and a reminder to anybody who has not signed the petition to please do so.

                                Currently this matter is 8th out of over 1700 petitions on the Downing Street Website!

                                http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Airfields/
                                "The Auster should be recognised for what it is: a gentleman's aerial touring carriage and a nice aeroplane"

                                Comment

                                • wessex boy
                                  Talking Baggage
                                  • Aug 2005
                                  • 1086

                                  #17
                                  Done!
                                  Nice to receive a Pop up message saying that 'you have received a message from No 10'
                                  J Atkins - A PPL once More!



                                  Are you an Aero-ist? Then fly with style at www.aero-ist.co.uk

                                  Comment

                                  • BlueRobin
                                    Fast Moderator
                                    • Jan 2000
                                    • 3311

                                    #18
                                    Hi Trapper, I received a letter form my MP today in the post. The content essentially mentions that government can be insensitive to local issues. He took the original issue up with Yvette Cooper (Minister Housing and Planning) when it arose last year, but has forwarded my comments to Yvette Cooper. My MP also forwarded the reply he received from Yvette Cooper in April 2006.
                                    See how they wheel, bank and glide? Perfect. All in one.

                                    Comment

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