Airfield's plea for more flights

Richard BatsonA north Norfolk airfield used by pop stars and royalty is looking to expand its activities a year after moving.The grass air strip at Northrepps near Cromer hopped across a couple of fields to a new site in 2008.Richard Batson

A north Norfolk airfield used by pop stars and royalty is looking to expand its activities a year after moving.

The grass air strip at Northrepps hopped across a couple of fields to a new site in 2008.

It is a popular spot with flying enthusiasts visiting the area, and its visitors have included Jamiroquai front man and helicopter pilot Jay Kay, actor Martin Shaw and the Duke of Kent went he named the Cromer local lifeboat.

But its more everyday traffic includes tourists and day trippers, along with people practicing with light aircraft.


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The airfield is now looking to firm up the temporary planning permission it was initially granted, and to get some conditions changed - to allow more movements, along with banner-towing and aerobatics.

The strip is currently limited to 1,780 movements - with a take off and landing counting as two - and wants to step it up to 5,000.

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Operator Chris Gurney said that by the time some pilots had done a couple of practice take-offs and landings it soon ate into the movements total.

The field was proving popular particularly with businessmen who flew in to north Norfolk to join their families who had driven there.

'We are trying to let more tourists use the airfield, and come to explore the area,' he added.

The new field was slightly bigger and less challenging than the old one, and visitors numbers were about 10pc up.

It also wanted to be able to do advertising banner towing, and to add aerobatics - not for the field to host events, but just to allow pilots with aerobatic aircraft to use their skills occasionally with a 'quick roll and loop before landing' , and to entertain fellow enthusiasts.

The airfield, which moved after 40 years at its New Road site, overcame initial highways concerns when officials accepted the main Cromer to North Walsham it has access on to had a better accident record than first thought. The new plans have just been lodged with North Norfolk District Council.

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