.... it seems that DDC is having to remedy the woeful under-provision of Traveller Sites in its area. Have a look at DCC's published criteria for evaluating potential sites, and this pretty much meets them all. Perhaps a small, well-managed airstrip is not such a bad prospect, after all!
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A formal planning application for an airstrip on the land between Willow Woods Road,
Little Mongeham and Mill Lane / Coulson Grove, Northbourne has been submitted to DDC.
The application includes an airstrip, 2 hangars, 20 light aeroplanes, 10 glamping pods and helicopter access.
What do you think about it? Do you want it? Tell us here.
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quietflyer1907.............Hi again Ben..........The beige Baron is quite correct about my intentions in visiting Rochester airport. I believe its a good idea to find out for yourself, before making unsubstantiated statements.
I would be interested to see your response to the questions she asked. With your experience, you will save me trying to find this out for myself.
Look forward to seeing your reply.
quietflyer1907 What a horrible thing to imply about people you don't know anything about.
I think when my learned friend mentioned Rochester airport in an earlier post it was to ascertain the noise levels from aircraft of similar size and altitude. Wether it is a licensed airfield or public transport flights, in this case is not important. The comparison made was relevant.
Thank you for a very comprehensive explanation of the circuit pattern. I am curious though. You being a flying instructor at what height after take-off do you consider it safe to bank, quite sharply to avoid overflying properties? Im pretty sure for the first few hundred feet you will be more concerned gaining altitude as quickly as possible incase of any technical problems. A similar question for the approach into the proposed airstrip. If you want to avoid properties how can you possible fly a stable approach and avoid houses when coming in from the North East?
Your last paragraph mentioned flying off for lunch with family and friends. May I remind you that the proposed mission statement so to speak from the developer is "a pioneering airfield with electric aircraft". Well the endurance on these is a heady 50 minutes, with a glacial speed of 100mph. I feel your passengers may miss out on a lunch!
The Beige Baron x
Thanks for your comments Ben. Its good to hear other opinions. I take it that you don't live in the area affected. How close do you live to the airstrip you fly from?
Let's take a look at your points
You can sometimes hear a background noise from the not so busy A256, but the prevailing wind is in the opposite direction, so not very often, and certainly not at the levels of a Vintage aircraft engine.
I couldn't comment on Richards previous applications, as I wasn't aware of them. They obviously received the same amount of prior community engagement, as this proposal......zero.......despite CAA recommendations on unlicensed airstrip to engage. The quotes from Richard in the press advise that he will engage once he is up and running with an open day. Too late.
Quiet airstrip?......only when no planes are flying, and perhaps not even then with engine maintenance activities.
Agreed that landing aircraft make less noise than those taking off. But that is still more noise than we currently suffer. There can also be noisy engine revving when the pilot hasn't quite got their approach right. Imagine this less than 100ft from your roof top, which currently only have birds flying that close. Plus landing is only 50% of the movement at the airstrip. Take off is very noisy with engines running at full throttle. I do understand that large passenger jets will not be landing here. You also fail to mention the noise from helicopters.
As you say, the circuits will mean additional overflying to the take off and landing movements, which will already total more than 7000 , compressed into good weather days, mostly in summer. So more noise nuisance. The person setting up the airstrip is a flying instructor, so perhaps there will be training here too.
There maybe additional proposals in the full planning application ref overlying, noise etc, however I an unaware of them due to failure of developers to engage before hand. A little like your next door neighbour planning to build a block of flats in their garden and the first you hear of it in the planning notice on the garden gate......how would this make you feel?..........anyway, due to above, I'm not sure how different this will be from Maypole.......but we do know that fuel will be available there from the screening option documents.
I have not condemned the proposal out of hand. I parked next to Rochester airstrip this week to see what it would be like. I have also visited Maypole residents to find out their experiences.
If this airstrip is to just serve the 20 plane owners plus the odd visitor, it does seem a little unfair to disturb the lives of many hundreds of residents, with noise and air pollution, so that the 20 can enjoy their hobby.
Why not continue to fly from the airstrips that they are currently using?
I have enjoyed the view of the world you refer to from a glider at Waldershare. Same experience.....no noise or air pollution, just minutes down the road.
I rather doubt it, Paul: last time I visited, the continuous drone of traffic, on (presumably, given the prevailing wind direction) the A256, was very noticeable. Other objectors have tried to give the impression that the area's perfect silence is disturbed only by the beating wings of the occasional raptor, which (of course) is total nonsense.
Richard will eventually be successful in obtaining planning consent for a diversification project of one kind or another, despite the success of local opposition to earlier (arguably less controversial) applications. Of the various possibilities, I would suggest that a small, quiet airstrip might be the least intrusive.
One thing that objectors seem to fail to understand is that a light aircraft (whatever its power plant) lands virtually noiselessly: perhaps they are misled by the reverse thrust employed by large passenger jets after touchdown in order to quickly vacate a busy runway. Another common misunderstanding is reference to "flight paths": the area lies within uncontrolled airspace, so pilots would not obliged to follow any designated flight paths. The exception would be the local "circuit", a flight pattern designed to allow arriving aircraft to coordinate their arrivals safely: this can, admittedly, present a nuisance problem at training aerodromes, where student pilots will fly repeated circuits in order to practice and perfect takeoff and landing skills, but a small, grass airstrip is far from the ideal training environment, and a planning constraint upon the number of aircraft movements would preclude repetitious circuit flying.
Kent has numerous "farm strips", many of which are used solely by their owners and, perhaps, a few friends. A number of others welcome considerate visiting pilots by prior permission. Maypole was a little different, in that it provided additional facilities (notably customs clearance and fuel) which made it especially convenient for pilots wishing to nip across to France with the minimum of fuss; it was also extremely friendly!
Rather than simply condemning the proposal out of hand, why not arrange a visit to one of the other Kent airstrips that welcomes visiting pilots? You won't find it populated by psychopaths intent on ruining neighbours' lives, just enthusiasts who realise that they have earned the privilege of viewing the world from a perspective that is available to all but is grasped only by relatively few. Who knows, you might even be offered an opportunity to share that privilege, if only briefly. You might even feel you want to join them!
Hi Ben, I don't think the landowner has plans to sell to DDC for this or any other purpose. Too close to his farmhouse that he no longer lives in. I wonder why he moved out?......possibly noise from a proposed airstrip?
Do you mean Salvador Dali's 1981 Bronze, or the Irish racehorse of the same name?
More Trajan horses!🤥