Posted: Mon 14th Jun 2021

Safety concerns raised over proposed site for 300 new homes near Hawarden Airport

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 14th, 2021

Safety concerns have been raised over a proposed site for 300 new homes in Flintshire due to its proximity to an airport.

Land at Warren Hall in Broughton has been selected as one of the main areas for housing within Flintshire Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP).

It has also been allocated as a location for employment land and a commercial hub, including a hotel, leisure facilities and shops.

However, Airbus has voiced doubts about the suitability of the site as it is situated close to the final approach for aircraft landing at Hawarden Airport.

The firm, which owns the airport and uses it to transport wings made at its factory in Broughton, said restrictions would be required on the height of any buildings with residents likely to be impacted by high noise levels.

 

In a statement submitted as part of the LDP process, the company said: “Airbus has operational concerns with the Warren Hall allocation but expresses material concerns/reservations about the sustainability and full deliverability of the strategic allocation, in terms of airfield safeguarding and the potential effects on future residential amenity.

“Warren Hall is situated under the flight path of runway four at Hawarden Airport and within the last section of the approach slope.

“Under current safeguarding criteria, the ground levels in the area already infringe the approach and take-off slopes and any development in this location may infringe further upon these surfaces.

“This would erode the safety margins between the safeguarded surfaces and the trajectory that an aircraft has during its instrument and visual approach phase, thus leading to regulatory challenge and a possible impact to the safe operation of the aerodrome.”

Flintshire’s LDP is currently in the proposed of being examined by two planning inspectors appointed by the Welsh Government.

Due to the issues raised, Siân Worden and Claire MacFarlane have called for a further hearing to be held to address the concerns raised about the Warren Hall site.

In a letter to council planning officials, they said: “We are aware of the economic and employment objectives, and overall value of the (North Wales) Growth Deal to the Warren Hall site.

“It is important, however, that these pump priming benefits do not have a disproportionate influence favouring the allocation of the site.

“Warren Hall is a greenfield site; it is not within a settlement boundary, nor immediately adjacent to a settlement; and it is bordered by an area of green wedge.

“Its proximity to Airbus and Hawarden Airport places constraints on the location and height of development on the site, as well as resulting in high levels of noise at times.

“Furthermore, the site has had planning permission and been allocated in the Unitary Development Plan for employment use without any development having taken place for several decades.”

When approached for comment, the local authority’s chief planning officer said the inspectors’ letter should not be seen as a judgement on whether the site would be included in the LDP.

Andrew Farrow said they had also asked for similar information on other areas within the plan.

He said: “The examination is still in progress and the inspectors’ letter actually asks the council for further evidence on matters such as viability, the position of Airbus and other matters to which we are preparing our response.

“Therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment until such evidence is made public as part of the examination process.

“This is done at the request of the inspectors and it is dependent on when they wish to release further information, and also hold a further examination session relating to the Warren Hall site.”

He added the council would publish details regarding the hearing about the Warren Hall site on its website at a later date.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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