Tuesday 1 December 2015

BIGGIN HILL - proposed changes to flightpaths

Biggin Hill Airport (LBHA) operates, almost exclusively, on two runways designated Rwy 21 and Rwy 03 (typically they are opposite ends of the same strip). The main factor to designate runway use is wind direction. Rwy 21 requires arrival and departures to operate on a south westerly track. Rwy 03 on a north easterly track.
The proposal for change concerns only Rwy 03 arrivals and is predicated on a move to Instrument Approach Procedures (IAP’s)
Currently aircraft using Rwy 03 to land arrive from the north, fly over the airport, circle and then turn north east to land. The proposal is for aircraft on IAP’s to approach from the north then head west, turn to the east travel along the M25 corridor and turn  north east on the final descent to LBHA.
The current system operates in the M25 corridor entirely north of the motorway. The proposed system will bring aircraft to the south of the M25 (at about 2,000ft) and thus be flying over communities not currently so affected (including Nutfield Parish). 
See >Biggin Hill proposed route changes   Red = existing flightpath   Black = proposed route 

Air traffic at Biggin Hill is currently on the increase though actual runway use is dependent on wind direction.
The proposal documents indicate that Rwy 03 operates for approximately 35% of the year. Actual arrival figures for Rwy 03 have varied over the last five years between 869 (2010) and 336 (2014).
The Conservation Society are studying the implications and will be submitting a response to the consultation which is open until February 2016.

We trust this very brief guide will be of assistance, the proposal documents may be found via Biggin Hill Airport website – http://www.bigginhillairport.com/acp     

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Mercers South - Plans approved by Surrey Council TA/2014/1799

UPDATE (1st August 2016)
A planning decision is awaited regarding a further application by J&J Franks to remodel Glebe Lake involving a reduction in depth by several metres which will reduce the flood risk to nearby properties resulting from the removal of sand aggregate from the land adjacent to the lake..

At the planning meeting in June, Surrey Council dismissed the various concerns raised regarding water management at the Mercers South site on Nutfield Marsh where development by J&J Franks is expected to commence in 2017.
Given the nearby landfill history the Society remain concerned regarding the possible pollution of aquifers and contamination of the local water supply and these concerns are shared by Sutton and East Surrey Water Authority who objected at the planning meeting when they expressed the following views:
1. De-watering at the quarry will lower groundwater levels in the area and potentially affect abstraction from local boreholes.
2. Post-development, a 7.5ha catchment from Glebe Lake will be diverted into Brewer Street Brook via a ditch; this will reduce infiltration into the ground.
3. It is unclear in the Long Term Water Management Monitoring Plan whether the applicant will be required to use subsoil which does not change the permeability of the ground compared to pre-development.
4. It is unclear whether ground levels will be returned to pre-development levels. Any reduction in ground levels would increase the risk of contamination to the aquifer.
5. Consideration needs to be given to the impact of using 'The Moors' as a flood alleviation scheme for Redhill Brook, in combination with the proposed drainage plans and dewatering operations for Mercers South.
In May 2015, the Society reiterated concerns regarding the perceived flood risk due to the proximity of Glebe Lake and the increased risk of damage to local aquifers resulting from the proposed mining activity: see >Objections to Flood Management Plan

Despite concerns raised regarding the likely deterioration in local air quality at the Mercers South site: see >Concerns regarding Dust Management, Surrey Council approved the Plan proposed by the developers: see >Decision on Dust Plan/Monitoring (DMMP)

The Society has raised both the above concerns at a meeting with Sam Gyimah MP who will be taking these up with Surrey Council to ensure robust monitoring takes place regarding local water extraction and air quality and that these remain within National standards.