New planning application for airfield access causes concern

Many Appleton Thorn villagers have expressed their concerns to Cheshire East Council over the latest planning application by Mr J Sykes of “Invergordon” on Swineyard Lane.

The application (no. 12/0172M) is for the “creation of New Access onto Swineyard Lane to Serve Existing Permitted uses at Appleton Airfield”.

If allowed, a new entrance will be built to enable safe, direct access from Swineyard Lane onto an existing concrete track within the old airfield.

The concern of many is that this is merely an enabling move prior to a re-application for motor sport or similar activities to be allowed on the old airfield land – something which has been strongly objected to and refused by Cheshire East Council in the recent past.

The various objections lodged with Cheshire East address a range of concerns both to do with the planned new access road and the purpose for which it is said to be needed.

Many objectors are of the opinion that the reducing level of use of the old airfield – currently up for sale by Shell – is inconsistent with the application’s stated need to improve access for current users.  One objector points out that the main recent use of the airfield has been by micro-light aircraft – who fly in and out.

Others, including the High Legh Parish Council, refer to the two existing tracks which could readily be extended to provide safe access to the airfield if it is indeed needed. Some objectors are unclear as to why Mr Sykes would wish to pay for the building of a new road giving access to land which he does not own (i.e the airfield).

Many believe that if this new access road is allowed, apart from any immediate damage to the green belt, it will be swiftly followed by a renewed attempt to make the airfield available for regular, obtrusively loud motor sport.  Such an application was turned down by Cheshire East previously and had a resubmitted application withdrawn in October 2011.  As well as the increased levels of noise, there are also concerns over the increased levels of traffic that are likely to be attracted to the area – with associated loss of safety and amenity.

The Publicity Period for this application ended on 1st March, but full details, including a link to all associated documents, can be found on the Cheshire East website using reference 12/0172M.

Leave a comment