Ruling - but planning wrangle over Bagby Airfield likely to rumble on (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Planning wrangle over Bagby Airfield, near Thirsk, likely to continue
A LONG-RUNNING dispute over an airfield regularly used by top jockeys and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason is likely to rumble on – despite a public inquiry ruling that numerous developments there should be removed.
Planning inspector George Mapson has upheld eight enforcement actions by Hambleton District Council over Bagby Airfield, near Thirsk , most of which centred on changes of land use and included a runway.
However, Mr Mapson allowed one of the appeals by the airfield’s owner, Martin Scott, against an enforcement that would have prevented helicopters from using the grass airstrip – a key concern of a group of residents who have battled over flight-related noise.
However, Mr Mapson also ordered Mr Scott to pay for some of the council’s public inquiry costs.
It was the second public inquiry in 15 months into the airfield and follows the council being found guilty of maladministration by the local government ombudsman for failing to control planning there for several years.
The unprecedented enforcement action by the council saw the Yorkshire Air Ambulance being told to stop using the airfield as its satellite base, an action which attracted criticism but forced the charity to move to RAF Topcliffe, near Thirsk.
Yesterday, the airfield’s management, noise campaign group Action4Refusal and the council all said they were pleased with the outcome of the latest inquiry.
Councillor Neville Huxtable, the council’s leader, said: “The council was successful in practically every respect and the award of partial costs in favour of the council vindicates our stance on a number of the breaches of planning control.”
The airfield’s manager, Steve Hoyle, said: “They have let us keep helicopters here.
Everything else is irrelevant to us, it is just the area that will lose out with seven jobs at the airfield going elsewhere due to the ongoing uncertainty.”
Stephen Hornsby, of Action4Refusal, said he was delighted the appeal over the north-south runway had been dismissed and urged the council’s planning committee to find a way to enforce restricted flight numbers when it meets in September.