New Northrepps airfield hits road snag

An airfield's bid to hop across two fields to set up a new home could be grounded by problems with the roadway rather than runways.But Northrepps airstrip operator Chris Gurney says he hopes to shoot down highways officers' objections.

AN airfield's bid to hop across two fields to set up a new home could be grounded by problems with the roadway rather than runways.

But Northrepps airstrip operator Chris Gurney says he hopes to shoot down highways officers' objections.

The grass aerodrome has already moved from its former New Road site after nearly 40 years to a new strip at Winspurs farm off the main Cromer to North Walsham road.

While planning officers are generally happy with the scheme, subject to imposing some restrictions on flying, they are recommending refusal because of Norfolk County Council concerns about the access on a 60mph stretch with an accident record.


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Mr Gurney, however, said a couple of recent accidents had been on nearby bends and not related to the farm entrance.

He added the highways department had not taken into account a transport assessment which showed traffic movements were not a problem.

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A report to North Norfolk District Council's east area development control committee says the change of use of the farmland to an airfield had drawn four letters of objection, raising concerns including noise, road safety and fuel storage.

There is likely to be a 10pc increase on the 1,600 aircraft movements logged in 2007, mostly small private planes and microlights.

But officials were happy, providing there were restrictions such as a ban on aerobatics and banner towing.

Mr Gurney said he also hoped to negotiate a loosening of those, as it was planned to help the local tourism industry with some banner towing for Cromer pier next summer, and aerobatics were important for corporate days.

A decision on the airfield plan, which involves two grass runways, a portable office, toilet and storage container, will be considered

today.

The strip can operate 28 days a year without planning permission, but Mr Gurney said that was not commercially viable.

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