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Plans for new helipad which could bring 20 flights a day to Great Oakley have ‘no benefit for area’  

Credit:  Gazette | www.gazette-news.co.uk ~~

“Noisy” windfarm helicopters are not suitable for a village airfield according to angry residents who fear up to 20 flights a day would cause unfair noise disturbance.

Mike Bush, Tendring councillor for Great Oakley, has called for the application to be put before the planning committee after talking to concerned villagers.

Mr Bush, who lives in the village, said the plans for a temporary helipad to serve the Galloper Offshore Windfarm in Suffolk should be refused.

He said: “The major concerns are significant noise disruption, number of flights, hours and safety.

“It would increase current permission at the Great Oakley airfield from six helicopter flights a day to 20, and the helicopters would be based there which they aren’t at the moment.

“It wouldn’t give any employment or benefit to the village.

“I’m very pro bringing work to the community but what benefit does this have for Great Oakley?”

The application is for a temporary helipad, demountable building, fuel storage tank and refuelling facility, lighting and additional car parking at the airfield for up to two years, while the company waits for planning permission and construction of a base at Harwich Port.

But Mr Bush has hit out planners for failing to decide on the Harwich plan six months since an application was put in.

“Increased noise is a significant concern,” he added.

“We need a full sound survey done again.

“I’m getting calls from people in the village concerned and from Little Oakley as the flight path goes over there.

“Why can’t they put a temporary helipad at the port?”

He also raised safety concerns about the storage of jet fuel and weekly deliveries on the village roads also used by EPC Bramble Island in the village.

Toby Edmonds, Project Director for Galloper Offshore Wind Farm said; “Our application for the temporary helipad to support the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm Operations & Maintenance is currently open for consultation and we very much welcome comments and feedback from local people and councillors. At the end of the consultation we will consider all of the comments received during this period. As a responsible developer and operator of renewable projects, we know from experience that local input is invaluable in helping shape the best possible plans.

He added: “With that in mind some of our team met with local councillors last November to talk them through our proposals for the Harwich Operations and Maintenance base.

“Our intention is to have the helipad based at Harwich International Port but due to the construction timescales of the new facility, a temporary application to utilise the established airfield at Great Oakley is required in the short term.

“We would welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss the plans directly with local councillors, including feedback received to date during the consultation.

“Of note in particular are the comments from Tendring district Council’s economic development unit which highlight the significant jobs, employment and investment benefits the Operations and Maintenance base and associated infrastructure including the helipad, is likely to bring to Tendring.”

Source:  Gazette | www.gazette-news.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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