Mega-nosedive for microlights in mid Bucks

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A planning inspector, John Felgate, has rejected plans by Mr Mark Fowler to fly microlight aircraft from Bernwood Farm, Botolph Claydon in mid Bucks. Mr Fowler had appealed against Aylesbury Vale District Council’s refusal of consent in December 2010. The application was retrospective: Mr Fowler, the tenant of Bernwood Farm, was already flying aircraft there without consent.

We backed our member, the Botolph Claydon Quiet Society, in fighting the proposal because the planes shatter the peace of this tranquil area, and the runways cross, or pass close to, three public paths. One of these is the Bernwood Jubilee Way through the long-forgotten Bernwood Forest.

Mr Felgate agreed with the objectors that the aircraft ‘would result in unacceptable danger to footpath users’. The two grass runway-strips cut across two footpaths at right-angles, giving rise to ‘the potential for dangerous conflicts between aircraft and footpath users’. This danger was exacerbated by the geography, since the site straddles the crest of a pronounced ridge which limits the vision of both pilots and walkers.

Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘We are relieved that this unpleasant application has been so roundly rejected. At last those who live in this beautiful part of Buckinghamshire, and those who walk here, can enjoy the area in peace and quiet, free from the danger and noise of the buzzing, droning aircraft.’

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