Bagby Airfield is saved from a discontinuance order threat

Darlington and Stockton Times: AIRFIELD ROW: Bagby Airfield supporters outside one of the earlier inquiries AIRFIELD ROW: Bagby Airfield supporters outside one of the earlier inquiries

PLANNERS have decided not to accept a recommendation for the total closure of a controversial airfield which has been at the centre of three public inquiries.

Hambleton District Council has been embroiled in a continuing planning row for six years with the owners of Bagby airfield, near Thirsk, along with neighbouring parish councils.

At a planning meeting on Thursday, May 29, the committee voted in favour of the officer’s recommendation to look into an “appropriate monitoring regime” and not to consider further a discontinuance order, despite an ombudsman recommendation to do so.

Two years ago the council was ordered by the local government ombudsman to issue a public apology to residents for "extreme and most serious failure" over restricting use of the airfield.

They were also ordered to hand over £5,000 each to two local parish councils.

Planning officer Martyn Richards said: "Making a discontinuance order for a total cessation of the airfield use would be a disproportionate response to the current situation.

“This is because there has previously been an authorised planning use of the site for flying private aircraft for recreation purposes.

“Also the recent enforcement actions have had an impact on reducing the number and nature of aircraft movements and the adverse impact on residents.”

He added that there could have been financial implications for the council if a discontinuance order was made and the airfield owners sought compensation.

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