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3,750 flights a year!

SAY NO WAY TO THIS APA (AIRSTRIP PLANNING APPLICATION)
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A planning application (Dover Planning ref 21/00626) has been submitted to build an airfield at Manor Farm, Little Mongeham. The plans include a 750m runway, 2250m2 of aircraft hangars, an access roadway and glamping pods for a small group of local amateur pilots and their 20 light aircraft.  The communities of Mongeham, Northbourne and the surrounding parishes strongly oppose the scheme which will bring pervasive noise nuisance and pollution along

with material harm to the character of the landscape and biodiversity. We must act to prevent our landscape and skies being blighted by this proposed development.

What can I do?

This is your home and your community under threat. You can object by:

 

1. Commenting on the application page. Just click 'comment' and then 'make a comment'.

2. In writing or by email to developmentcontrol@dover.gov.uk citing application 21/00626

 

3. Petition your Dover District Councillors - they were elected to represent our views. 

 

Find your ward councillors here.​​


4. Email developmentcontrol@dover.gov.uk citing application 21/00626

 

5. Email our MP, Natalie Elphicke

natalie.elphicke.mp@parliament.uk 

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The flying community is trying to drive this through. 

The developer has rallied pilots from all over the country to write letters of support for their plans.

 

This is a local issue that will harm our community and our way of life.

 

Until last week, these pilots had never even heard of Mongeham. 

Comment on the online application and petition our Dover District Councillors - they were elected to represent our interests.

 

 

Read the latest press released from Chocks - Go Away

What you need to know...

  • Electric planes
    Put simply, there aren't any. Electric aviation is in its infancy. This proposal is for 20 conventional light aircraft with piston engines. There are just 3 electric fixed wing light aircraft registered in the UK compared with thousands with combustion engines. Don't expect to see any electric planes anytime soon.
     

  • Noise

    1. The developer states that flying activity will be concentrated toward Summer weekends when residents and local people are enjoying their gardens and the countryside. If this goes ahead, the sound of light aircraft overhead will become the soundtrack of our Summers.
       

    2. Airfields are granted a statutory exemption from noise nuisance law so if this scheme gets approved, we will quite literally never hear the end of it. Nuisance and environmental health laws will not offer us any protection.
       

    3. Our rural community is quiet and peaceful. Farm machinery is rarely heard other than the odd day ploughing in Winter and a day or two at harvest. Stand outside and the only sound you can hear is birdsong.
       

    4. Don't forget the noise from ground operations - taxiing, engine testing and maintenance will all add to noise nuisance.
       

  • Pollution
    We are in a climate emergency; recreational flying is inherently unsustainable. Leaded fuel is still in general use in light aviation. The World Health Organisation states that there is no known safe level of lead exposure; children are especially vulnerable. Lead has been found to be toxic at the lowest detectable levels and exposure is cumulative, it builds up in humans over time. 

     

  • Harm to the landscape
    Mongeham, Northbourne and the surrounding parishes are peaceful, idyllic rural communities. The airfield is completely at odds with the setting and anything but “low key” - 2,250m2 of aircraft hangars, a briefing room, fuel storage and the 750m runway will blight our landscape. Thousands of aircraft movements every year will completely destroy the peaceful character of the area.

     

  • Privacy Pilots and their passengers will be flying over our homes up to 7500 times per year at low altitudes as they land, takeoff and circle the airfield. You will be overlooked and your right to privacy will be impacted.
     

  • Sustainability
    Recreational aviation is environmentally harmful and unsustainable. We must safeguard and promote the increasingly popular sustainable enjoyment of our countryside by cyclists, runners, ramblers, horse riders, bird watchers, nature groups and tourists. We cannot allow a scheme which threatens the peaceful enjoyment of these vital activities. We say to the pilots, come and visit us on the high speed train. 

     

  • No economic benefit The developer states that the glamping pods are “principally for use by the aircraft owners” who already live locally. No jobs will arise other than perhaps some part time cleaning. The economic case is remarkably weak considering the scale of the harms. Occasional overnight stays by visiting pilots will make no meaningful local contribution when considered against the booming sustainable tourism the area offers.
     

  • Wildlife & biodiversity
    The noise will be harmful to wildlife. The grass runway will be mown and of little green value. The CAA routinely provides detailed guidance to airfields to help them discourage and minimise features attractive to birds and other wildlife which might interfere with or cause danger to aircraft users. The noise will impact the wildlife-rich woodland, scrub, grassland and hedgerows at Manor Farm on the southwest end of the runway. To the northeast is a large area of meadows, scrub, copse, hedgerows and paddocks providing a locally important relief habitat for wildlife, spared from of intensive farming; this enclave will be directly affected by landing and takeoffs. It is unthinkable that the much loved sight of buzzards soaring over these meadows will be lost to aircraft.

     

  • Footpath
    Users of the footpath will be affected by planes at very low altitudes, directly overhead on landing and take-off. Noise at this range will be very loud. The implications of an accident are unthinkable.

     

  • Safety
    Planes over the Willow Woods and Deal roads will appear out of nowhere at very low altitudes under hard throttle presenting a major distraction risk to drivers. The entrance to Manor Farm sits on a blind bend, existing traffic movements from the farm are very low. The CAA states that ⅓ of reportable general aviation accidents occur during landing and take-off at unlicensed airfields such as that proposed. The former Maypole airfield (which the developer seeks to replace) has seen a string of accidents including a plane tipping over on landing during a pilot’s first solo flight, another pilot losing control and tangling in fencing and a pilot crashing when overrunning the runway. Fortunately no one was hurt in these incidents but it clearly shows that light aviation is far from risk free. 

See the flight paths

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The dotted line is the circuit pattern aircraft will fly when joining an airfield to land, practicing takeoffs and landings (flying a circuit), or flying a missed approach due to, say, being unstable or somebody ahead blocking the runway. 

They are almost always flown at 1000 ft above the airfield. The picture has two rectangular patterns. A circuit to the North and South of the proposed airstrip.

If the private strip at Ripple has aircraft flying, it would make good sense for safety reasons to fly the rectangle to the North. This would be very close if not over Northbourne, Betteshanger, Finglesham and smaller hamlets.The villages to the South would be Sutton, Ripple, Great Mongeham up to Sholden, and smaller pockets of houses.The predominant wind direction is westerly in the UK so the majority of take offs would be in the direction of East Studdal. With approaches to land coming in from the North East.

Click the image to magnify

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Click the image to magnify

 
 
 
 
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The flying community is trying to drive this through. 

The developer has rallied pilots from all over the country to write letters of support for their plans.

 

This is a local issue that will harm our community and our way of life.

 

Until last week, these pilots had never even heard of Mongeham.

The graphic shows predicted aircraft heights. The closer you are to the runway the higher the level of noise will be.