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MEDIA RELEASE
Issued: May 14, 2019

Parish council  backs aviation growth

A potential increase in flying at North Weald Airfield is being supported by the parish council which has underlined its backing for continued aviation use of the site.

A 'Masterplan' for the airfield could include a new access road off Epping Road, a new control tower - and a police station, an Epping Forest District Council report reveals.

Various ideas to maximise the future of the airfield could be included in a proposed 'Masterplan' which will focus on aviation use to the west of the airfield, alongside the M11, with other uses - including the proposed new district council offices on the other side of the runway.

Epping Forest District Council is stressing the existing listed control tower will be retained "with the possibility of adaptation for alternative use".

Business, general industrial and storage and distribution uses could feature on the eastern side of the airfield, which is the location identified for the new council offices which would accommodate the council's non-customer facing services.

A district council report published last month stated: "It is envisaged that EFDC offices will be located (on the eastern side) and the viability of accommodating other uses such as a library for North Weald Bassett and a Police Station can also be explored.

"The listed control tower also has potential for community use.

"The opportunity for education premises focused on aviation and potentially an exhibition detailing the history of the airfield should also be considered in the Masterplan."

At the request of North Weald county councillor Anthony Jackson, parish councillors discussed the council's viewpoint over potential intensification of aviation at the airfield at Monday's parish council meeting.

Councillor Sheila Jackman told the meeting: "The view of the council has been that we want to encourage flying on the airfield. That was our policy and there hasn't been any change to that."

Councillor Anne Grigg said: "The message that has been coming from the residents is to support aviation use on the airfield. 

"We've had waste sites, other rubbish dumps, a detention centre (proposed over the years). We have had it in the past. 

"The arrival of the air ambulance and the police I think has secured the finances of the (airfield) area."

Councillor Terry Blanks said: "There would have to be a lot of capital investment, there are no (runway) lights, the runway... While we have well-run helicopters, if there were going to be a major upgrade it would cost an absolute fortune and I think at that stage there might be objections."

Mr Jackson said North Weald Airfield's "biggest competitor" is London City Airport.

Councillor Andy Tyler said: "The airfield is a great resource, yes it has to pay its way and yes we need a certain amount of intensification.

"I don't think we should ever under-value its historic value. We need to protect it."

 
Issued by the Everything Local News media service - www.everythinglocalnews.co.uk - part of Everything Epping Forest and Everything Harlow - www.everythingeppingforest.co.uk and www.everythingharlow.co.uk.
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Everything Local News media service on behalf of North Weald Bassett Parish Council · The Jim Davis Room · North Weald Library, 138 High Road · North Weald, CM16 6BZ · United Kingdom

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