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Lib Dems condemn huge increase in flights proposed by TAG

December 30, 2008 9:00 AM

a jet planeLiberal Democrat Councillors have attacked new proposals to increase the number of flights at Farnborough Airfield claiming the plan would have a devastating effect on the lives of local residents.

TAG, the owners of Farnborough Airfield, released a draft 'Master Plan' for consultation the week before Christmas. The document, which sets out TAG's plans for the future development of the Airfield, contains a proposal to apply for planning permission for an increase in the annual number of ATMs (Air Traffic Movements) from 28,000 to 50,000 a year, an increase of 80%.

Adrian Collett, Leader of the Lib Dems on Hampshire County Council, said: "The Airfield is a very important part of Farnborough, but we believe the benefits of the Airfield, such as jobs and investment, can be retained without a massive increase in flights which will blight people's homes and can only increase the safety risk to those on the ground."

A recent survey by the Liberal Democrats of those living under the flight path in Farnborough showed that 70% want to see either no increase in flights or a reduction in flights to and from the airport.

Lib Dem councillors from Rushmoor, Surrey Heath and Hart have joined together to produce an alternative plan which seeks to limit the negative impact of the Airfield on residents while at the same time preserve its contribution to the local economy and the prestige of Farnborough.

Local Lib Dems have been canvassing residents' views on their policy and of those that commented 81% were broadly supportive.

Cllr Sue Gadsby, Lib Dem Leader on Rushmoor Council said, "The public's response to our plan shows people recognise the importance of the airfield but feel there should be limits on what the Airfield can do. We urge TAG to reconsider and listen to the views of people most affected by their operations."

Councillor Charlie Fraser-Fleming, who has long campaigned for Farnborough's heritage to be better promoted, said: "Rather than focusing on further expansion, we hope TAG will do more to promote Farnborough as the birthplace of British aviation with more community projects that will foster people's pride in our town."

Residents in Farnborough can complete the Lib Dems' survey online by visiting http://tinyurl.com/AirfieldSurvey and the Lib Dem policy can be viewed in full at www.aldershotlibdems.org.uk/resources/index

You can read TAG's proposals and download their draft 'Master Plan' for consultation at www.tagconsultation.com

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