Fresh concerns over Coltishall runway move

The ends of Coltishall runway which are earmarked for ripping up to make into rubble.  Picture: MIKE PAGE The ends of Coltishall runway which are earmarked for ripping up to make into rubble. Picture: MIKE PAGE

Dan Grimmer dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk
Saturday, April 19, 2014
10:58 AM

The controversial redevelopment of the former RAF Coltishall base has hit another stumbling block, after Broadland District Council objected to a proposal to dig up part of the runway.

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Norfolk County Council has spent £4m on the base and hopes to recoup some of its investment by removing the ends of the runway and using an estimated 140,000 tonnes of aggregate for road schemes.

Council contractor Lafarge Tarmac has lodged an application to dig up parts of the runway and the council’s own planning committee will decide whether to grant permission - which has angered objectors.

People who live nearby are also concerned that moving the runway would see 100 HGV movements a day through the residential community of Badersfield.

As reported in February, English Heritage wants the application to be turned down. They said it would “result in harm to two designated heritage assets, namely the RAF Coltishall Conservation Area and the scheduled eastern grouping of Cold War era blast walls”. An amended proposal failed to change that opinion.

And Broadland District Council has now written to County Hall saying its planning committee objects to the application, unless it can be demonstrated the public benefits of the application outweigh any harm caused to the significance of heritage assets at or next to the site.

Broadland also objects because it considers the lorries will have an “unacceptable effect on the amenity of existing settlements and surrounding rural environment”, while North Norfolk District Council has also objected.

The application had been due to be discussed at the council’s planning committee on March 21, but it was pulled from the agenda. It is also not listed on the agenda for next week’s planning committee.

Scottow Parish Council and Tunstead Parish Council have also opposed the application, while Bruce Giddy, who had previously offered £4.1m for the base and John Martin, from Great Witchingham, have asked the secretary of state to “call in” the matter.

• What do you think of the proposals? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

28 comments

  • He's making it up. Thought as much. The silence is deafening.

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    alecto

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

  • Norfolk must be top of the pile at the moment for being the county to spend millions and achieve the square root of nothing, far too much messing about and no action, for goodness sake pull your fingers out and stop messing about wasting people's money, get Coltishall sorted out and the NDR built for goodness sake... let the MINBYs have their shillings worth just to keep them quite. We are becoming a real backwater mainky due to MINBY takeovers.. wonder what the residents would really say if it was announced that Coltishall was going to be turned into a commercial airport, or better still a base for all offshore helicopter operations? Will the council ever make a decision and do something constructive?

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    Mr T

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Oh, for Heaven's sake just get on with it!!

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    The man on the Clapham Omnibus

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • Tom obviously has some sort of secret that he is not willing to share with the rest of us. Details old boy, details of your general and unexplained statement otherwise people will think you are making it up.

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    alecto

    Monday, April 21, 2014

  • I see the geniuses are at work again. Moving Norwich Airport to Coltishall would be as sensible and feasible as moving the port of Felixtowe to Mundesley. Cyril at least talks some sense.

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    Tom Jeffries

    Sunday, April 20, 2014

  • If the locals object to 100 HGV movements per day for a limited time, I wonder what they would say to a commercial airport with all its traffic for the next 100 years? NIMBY?

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    Nigel001

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Alecto, I have read this and you are plain wrong, end of story, your apology is accepted ( if it arrives ;-)) . Cyril...you are correct.

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    Responsible parent

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Not sure what you're on Alecto but you said "Of course Coltishall could be an airport. It was once in the 60s" Coltishall has never been an "airport" It was always a military airbase. RAF Horsham St Faiths was converted from an "airbase" to an "airport" Perhaps that is what you are trying to say. But I can't see what that has to do with my point which is that Norwich Airport is (leaving aside management issues) not a hugely successful airport in large part because it is in a backwater. Coltishall is absolutely in the middle of nowhere.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Norwich Airport Cyril. Read it again slowly using your finger to follow the words. Coltishall and Norwich Airport two different places. Have you not noticed that? Norwich Airport in the Second World War was RAF Horsham St Faith. Coltishall was, well guess what, Cyril? Coltishall.

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    alecto

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Quote: During the Second World War, Coltishall operated the Hawker Hurricane, and a notable Coltishall fighter pilot was Douglas Bader. It later became home to night fighters. At the same time the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm operated aircraft from RAF Coltishall over the North Sea. From 10 February to 7 April 1945 it was the airfield for No. 124 Squadron RAF, at that time a fighter-bomber squadron flying Supermarine Spitfire IX.HF's, whilst the squadron was bombing V2 launch sites in the Netherlands. At the end of the war, Coltishall was briefly given over to Polish squadrons until they returned home.

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    disolushund

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Coltishall was a commercial airport in the 1960s and not an airfield in WW2? I think your history is a bit muddled.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Of course Coltishall could be an airport. It was once in the 60s unlike Norwich Airport which was once an airfield in WWII. Stop talking rubbish

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    alecto

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Putting the mystery surrounding the purchase of Coltishall and the secret plans for it aside. There is no way the former airbase would, or could, become an airport. Norwich airport suffers because it's effectively in a backwater with poor, though improving, transport links. Moving it nine miles further out into the sticks is a ridiculous suggestion. There might be the possibility for an aviation based future for the site, but an airport is certainly not it.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Perhaps NCC should sell Coltishall. I heard they had an £8m plus private offer which would safeguard the runway and buildings for future use. This, plus the sale of the Willows proposed incinerator site at King's Lynn would cover the short-fall in in the penalties liable and would save the tax-payer in the long run. Sorted - except those at NCC with vested interests in Norwich Airport wouldn't be too happy.

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    disolushund

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • With Putin rattling his sabre loudly on the Ukrainian border - the Eastern border of the EU and NATO - maybe it's better not to be too hasty in digging-up recently-operational air bases !

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    NorfolkHawker

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Well done!!! Broadland and NNDC for looking after your residents and objecting to this madness. The runway and taxiways at Coltishall where resurfaced less than 10 years ago at a cost of tens of millions to the taxpayer. I hope Norwich airport does not need to be resurfaced anytime soon!!! Why not make Coltishall a terminal 2? all the facilities are there already and it appears County Hall have a stake in both. Central government are looking to increase the number of aircraft our airports can manage, and expansion would create more jobs locally. The fuels infrastructure looks like it dates from the 1950s at Norwich airport, will this need replacing? Coltishall has much more modern fuel storage facilities. The council say the roads are not suitable for an airport? they are ok for 100 HGV lorries a day though.

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    Goofybrit

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • You would think that someone in the cabinet had a vested interest in making sure Norwich Airport keeps going

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    alecto

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • I agree with moving the airport out to Coltishall. In a decade or so Norwich airport will be surrounded by thousands of new houses, as well as having the new NDR built on it's perimeter. Both these factors will limit any future expansion of the airport, making it unviable going forward. This is another NCC fiasco; the idiots in 'control' are not fit to make decisions of such gravity.

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    Greg F

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • If I lived in the local village I wouldn't welcome hundreds of lorries a day going past my house, no telling what structural damage could occur.

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    gerry mitson

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Absolutely right. Great facilities and better location by far.

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    Dick

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • NCC is desperate to show that it can, at this stage, extract some return from its ill-advised investment. Sadly, the price to be paid by the residents of Badersfield for this will be eighteen months of up to 100 HGV movements a day through the village on a route declared in the past by NCC to be "unsuitable for HGV traffic". (Those of you who criticise the locals my want to do a little research into the planning application.) To make matters worse, NCC has refused to carry out an environmental impact assessment. The aggregate to be removed is not being sold to Lafarge Tarmac, but merely being lifted and transported by them on behalf of NCC for use in road schemes such as the Postwick Hub and the NDR. But when you take the cost and disturbance into account, would it not have made more sense simply to purchase aggregate from external sources instead? And finally, this will render the runway - which is longer than that at Norwich Airport - completely unsuitable for any kind of commercial aviation. Though perhaps that is one of NCC's aims give its continuing stake in Norwich Airport.

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    Nemesis

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • They will have their way in the end as the system at best is undemocratic, where ordinary people just don't matter or at worst downright corrupt.

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    Old Long Balls

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • MickB1 The locals should have an input into this, the same as Kings Lynn over the incinerator. The problem is the idiots at NCC who will not listen to the public, the sooner this top tier council is removed the better off the county would be. Everything they touch is dead, dying or a joke and I for one have had a belly full.

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    Sweet cheeks

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Should have moved the airport there in the first place and used the land on the current airport site to build all those new homes instead of surrounding norwich airport with the new proposed development and subjecting the new properties to dangerous low aircraft and noise.

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    Panic

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Typical...Locals don’t want this, & don’t want that.....we want to stay in the past while the rest of the UK move on and progress.

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    MickB1

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Judge and jury on their own planning application,another blazing row and costly exercise in non-transparency again.

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    bedoomed

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Another County Hall fiasco brewing.

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    Sherbert

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • The locals don't want anything to happen to it, that's the truth of the matter. Too many have their heads buried in the sites past.

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    KeithS

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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