County Council originally published its draft structure plan (the subject of a previous
A4A alert) in January 2001. The consultation process was
suspended whilst the Council reviewed the newly published Regional Planning Guidance for
the South East (RPG9).
revision of the draft structure plan was recently re-issued and interested parties have
until February 21st to respond. The section which deals with General Aviation in the
county has changed, but still proposes policies which remain very negative towards GA
Any development at
Redhill likely to cause intensification of flying or other related activities will be
No development of
new airfields, and no re-opening of dis-used airfields;
sites and farm strip planning will be judged on environmental impact;
of business aviation at Fairoaks will be permitted.
In an apparent softening of attitude towards
the potential future use of Dunsfold this former British Aerospace site is excluded from
the proposed policy barring the development of new airfields or the re-opening of dis-used
If allowed to pass unchallenged, these policies
will form the basis of local plans for the next 15 years at least.
your comments by e-mail or post objecting to the negative policies towards GA using
one of the forms supplied by the council. In doing so it is important that
letters are individually worded and not simply duplicated. It is well
worth submitting comments even if you are not resident in Surrey. By its very nature
General Aviation has an interest in the promotion of aerodromes throughout the country. Do
not feel that you have to write an essay or become an expert in planning law overnight.
Other organisations will represent the interests of GA in detail - our job is to support
them with a high letter count expressing individual support for GA.
(Chapter 4 - Infrastructure and Development Needs) relates specifically to GA and appears
to specifically target recreational and training flying on the basis of environmental
The key concern is the 15
year blanket ban on the development of General Aviation facilities relating to
recreational and training flying and based solely on environmental concerns. A more
appropriate policy would allow cases to be judged on individual merit, taking into account
not only environmental issues but also the benefits aerodromes can bring to the local and
regional economy, based on the prevailing circumstances at the time.
In formulating your comments the following
information may prove relevant:-
state that local authorities should consider not only the environmental concerns of GA
activities but also the economic benefit to the local and regional economy. Specific
mention is made in PPG13 of both business and recreational GA.
agricultural activities to include small scale aviation operations is a legitimate
development which "...can support the continued viability of agricultural
holdings." (Surrey CC Proposed Policy DN17 on Agriculture).
Surrey CC Proposed
Policy DN14 (on Leisure and Recreation Facilities) "...aims to ensure that the
provision of leisure and recreation facilities reflects the demand arising in the
community". Recreational and training flights are legitimate leisure activities
enjoyed not only by the aviation community, but also by the wider local community which
benefits from pleasure flights and flight experience lessons.
The proposal not to
permit "The development of new airfields, or the reopening of existing ones..."
is predicated on the idea that "...there is sufficient capacity at both Fairoaks and
Redhill for additional flying activity." (section 4.28). This explanatory text does
not appear compatible with the actual policy that "...development of business
aviation facilities at Fairoaks Airport will only be permitted on a limited scale ..."
or that "Development likely to cause an intensification of flying and other
related activities at Redhill Aerodrome will be resisted."
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