May I begin with a reminder that development at the airfield is not (as certain parties would like to present it) a choice between housing and a hard runway development. These are exclusive issues which we consider as and when they arise. KRAG is not opposed to aviation and have offered no objections to a number of planning applications made by the operators. We maintain our single objective to resist inappropriate development.
Over many years the unreliable manner in which applicants have conducted their efforts to (inappropriately) develop the airfield has resulted in a breakdown of trust which has precluded meaningful liaison.
Future Aviation Related Plans
The latest NPPF (2018) includes the intention to:
recognise the importance of maintaining a national network of general aviation airfields, and their need to adapt and change over time............
The All Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation (APPG) (GA) are following the NPPF promoting the network of GA aerodromes as an important part of the national transport infrastructure and the necessity to maintain a national network of GA airfields. The APPG drew TDC’s attention to the new NPPF in relation to the TDC Local Plan.
In consequence of the new NPPF we anticipate plans for aviation related development may arise. The APPG has been communication with KRAG. At this time no specific intentions have been mentioned. However we plan to maintain liaison with the APPG in order to identify at the earliest stages any implications for Redhill airfield. We will then assess and respond accordingly.
Tandridge D.C. Local Plan
On 18th December 2018 TDC Planning Policy Committee adopted the TDC draft Local Plan. In early January The Plan was submitted for examination. Government Inspector Mr. Philip Lewis has been appointed to conduct the examination which is scheduled to be heard in summer 2019.
Reigate & Banstead Local Plan Regulation 19 Examination
On 8th November 2018 KRAG members attended the RBBC examination. Representations, supported by KRAG, objecting to the R&B intention to safeguard land for housing development at Redhill Aerodrome were made by a number of local organisations. The Inspector was supportive of our observations and has now indicated to RBBC that the proposal to safeguard the land should be deleted from their Local Plan.
The Inspectors reasons included:
There was insufficient evidence that the exceptional circumstances required to release the land from the Green Belt were demonstrated.
There is no commitment from Highways England to build a new motorway junction on the M23.
The proposal did not comply with NPPF
R&B's subsequently issued a press release indicating that they had been seeking to withdraw the proposal and now supported the Inspector’s view. This appeared contrary to their responses at the hearing where it was clear they were still endeavouring to present a case to safeguard the land.
We are pleased that RBBC have now endorsed the TDC view that development of the airfield for housing is inappropriate.
TDC recently reiterated that the Redhill Aerodrome site is undeliverable.
KRAG has recently consulted Highways England (H.E) in our discussion H.E confirmed that there is no research being carried out nor is there any intention to examine the question of a new M23 junction and link road, the provision of which is essential to a housing development on the airfield site.
We now await the results of the TDC Local Plan examination. In the meantime KRAG invite those seeking to develop housing on the airfield site to withdraw their proposals which are clearly undeliverable.
Taxiway/Unlicensed Runway 07/25
On November 21st 2018 RBBC confirmed that an enforcement notice had been served on the Aerodrome, requiring the reinstatement of the taxiway/runway regarding the works that had been completed without planning consent.
The enforcement notice is now in abeyance following submission of a revised planning application to RBBC. We understand the application was made with the intention of resolving the objections RBBC raised concerning the works.
Details of the application reference 19/00162/F can be examined on the RBBC website www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk KRAG is examining the application our response will be posted on our website.
Thank you for your continued support.