it's draft Local Plan policy, South Cambridgeshire District Council has sought to
implement small airfields policies that "...contain too much prescription and too
little flexibility and are more likely to prove to be a millstone than a workable model".
This was the consideration given to the Council's plans in the Planning Inspector's report on the first review of the Local Plan.
The Council is attempting to implement universal
'small airfields policies' which permit it wide ranging powers over the operation
and use of aerodromes in the area. However the Planning Inspector, commenting that the
various 'small airfields' vary widely in their individual circumstances, observes that
"The material considerations represented by the unique circumstances of the
individual site and the particular nature of the proposal would then need to be set
against the inflexibility of the policies." Such a situation "...could
well give rise to a more lengthy and costly appeal process than if a more neutral policy
were to be adopted in the first place" in the Inspector's view.
The report on the Council's small airfield
policies concludes with a recommended policy on 'Aviation-related development proposals'
in which it is "...intended to provide a flexible framework within which any
individual proposal can be considered in the light of all the particular local
One hopes that other Councils, such as Surrey and West Sussex Councils, who are also seeking to
impose inflexible restrictions on GA in their proposed policies, take note.
As well as Cambridge and Duxford, which were
not included in the proposed 'small airfield policies', the district is home to Bourn,
Fowlmere, Little Gransden, Gransden Lodge, Little Shelford, Top Farm and Willingham.
In making the case for GA the PFA employed a planner and a brief,
expending some £18,000 in the process.