Thursday, July 24, 2008


Residents concerns grow over Seighford Airfield plans

While I was pleased to hear that at last nights Borough Council’s Development Control Meeting the committee had agreed with the Planning Officers recommendation that enforcement action should be taken against the company who are running the driving experience centre on Seighford airfield, I was disappointed they had decided to give them six months to comply with the order.

Unfortunately, as I have relatives that live in Seighford, I had to declare an interest in the item and left the meeting while the matter was discussed.

The development of the driving centre at Seighford has certainly met with plenty of opposition from residents not only in Seighford itself, but also from Ranton, Great Bridgeford and the surrounding rural areas.

A couple of months ago a planning application for a major development of the site which included amongst other items a couple of race tracks and a reception, office, and entertainment building, was withdrawn after the Planning Officers recommended that the plan should be refused. However the company had not only been using the airfield for some time without planning permission but have also made some minor alterations to enhance their business on the site. In an attempt to regularise the situation they applied for retrospective planning permission a few weeks before the major application which was also refused. However unperturbed they have carried on using the site – hence the enforcement action.

Speaking to a local resident after the meeting it is clear the objectors were not only annoyed that the major planning application was withdrawn before it could be formally refused but are also extremely worried that a new application will now be submitted which will attempt to answer all the concerns raised by the officers.

The resident also questioned why the Committee were allowing the Company six months to cease using the airfield, especially as there was little effort needed to return the site to its original condition. He told me that apparently the firm had taken booking for the next six months and the Planning Committee had felt they should be allowed to honour those before closing down. I have to say he wasn’t very pleased with this and he was going away to speak to some of the other objectors about what they could do next.

I have a feeling we will be hearing much more about this issue in the coming weeks!

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