Villagers given their say on Norwich airport plans

The chief executive of Norwich International Airport said that they wanted to engage right from the start as they held a consultation into new plans for engine testing.

People living in villages around the airport have been given the chance to have their say and see the two possible tracts of land which could house engine testing facilities for KLM before a new planning application is drawn up.

Controversial plans to allow KLM UK Engineering to move its engine-testing facility to the former fire training site at the airport were given the go-ahead last year by Norwich City Council.

The move angered residents close to the new site who said that the testing would not only shatter their peace and tranquillity but also threaten livelihoods.

The plans are now subject to a judicial review and the airport has decided to go back to the drawing board and submit a new planning application.

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Over the last two days they have been talking to people living locally. They have been showing people two sites. One is around 40 acres and includes the area where the original application was and the second is a 25-acre site to the south of the runway.

Mr Bell said that there had been mixed reactions to the plans with some support for the airport and others who said that they had problems with the noise.

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'The nature of the geography is that it will impact somebody wherever it is.

'We aren't in the middle of nowhere. The key is to find somewhere to carry this on. We are trying to find the site in the airfield that is the least disruptive.'

Hellesdon councillor Sue Catchpole who was at the consultation in Horsham St Faith said that she was concerned that all of the local population was consulted on the plans and that they must be distributed to those who were unable to make the session.

'The important thing is to make sure that the impact on the local community is tolerable', she said.

But she added that is was a 'mutually beneficial arrangement' and that there were KLM employees to think about too.

What do you think about the testing? Email

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