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Action for Airfields - Supporters network helping to support airfields now and for the future Action for Airfields - Supporters network helping to support airfields now and for the future

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Surrey County Council Deposit Structure Plan
Deadline 21/02/03
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Alert Surrey 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).

The latest 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 including:-

Any development at Redhill likely to cause intensification of flying or other related activities will be resisted;
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No development of new airfields, and no re-opening of dis-used airfields;
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Private landing sites and farm strip planning will be judged on environmental impact;
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Limited development 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 airfields.

If allowed to pass unchallenged, these policies will form the basis of local plans for the next 15 years at least.

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Action Submit 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.
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More Info Policy DN9 (Chapter 4 - Infrastructure and Development Needs) relates specifically to GA and appears to specifically target recreational and training flying on the basis of environmental disturbance.

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:-

Planning Policy Guidelines (PPG13) 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.
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Diversification of 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).
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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.
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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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sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Structure Plan Home
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sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Policy on aviation
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Forms for comments
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)PPG13
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