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Poll

What do you think about the proposals to develop Panshanger Airfield for housing?

I'm against it and want the airfield to stay as it is.
I'm in favour, I'd like to see the land developed for housing.
I'm not sure and I'd like to see more information on the issue.

Author Topic: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals  (Read 35670 times)

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Offline Flyingshop

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Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« on: April 14, 2009, 09:12:14 PM »
This week a flyer has been delivered to some parts of Panshanger, and some parts of Hatfield (?) with details of a public exhibition about proposals for developing the current airfield site for housing. The flyer has dates and details and i'm making it available here as I know that some Panshanger residents have had it, while others haven't.

This is no doubt the opening gambit in a very long saga but it's important that everybody has access to all the information so informed judgements can be made, and feedback given when the opportunity arises.

Click HERE to download the PDF.

Offline mythoughts

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 09:26:04 PM »
I reckon you'll see a similar flyer for what will soon be known as the former QEII site.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 09:37:16 PM by mythoughts »
Please don't stitch us up with A&E closure

Lid

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2009, 10:01:14 PM »
Does anyone know why and when the airfield is closing?


patterdalepaws

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 09:57:02 AM »
I have received a copy of this document re: the development of the airfield, my next door neighbours did not. It appears that this document has been delivered to only a few houses in the area and I expect the originators will claim that everyone has received one.

We have lived on the Bovis estate since it was built in 1988 and moved here because of the airfield, as I used to be a member of the flying School.

In the 21 years I have lived here, I have only met one idiot who bought a house on the edge of the runway and did not understand that small aircraft use runways to take off from. This person was trying to get a petition to close the airfield because of the noise. He was told where to go!

If you don't like the idea of a small airfield in the area, do not buy property here!

1. Who are Maripossa Investments anyway? Is this another sub agency of Welwyn Hatfield Council. What right do they have to assume that the residents of the area feel that the aircraft noise is a problem, it has been here since the 1950's! Or is this another case of of the 'Stalinist Green Brigade' trying to inflict their views on everyone.

2. If the airfield was redeveloped, it would probably turn the area into a massive 'Sink Estate'.

3. Where is the  infrastructure to support such a development, there is no suitable Hospital in the area thanks to Gordan and band of merry men. We do not have the schools or if we are to believe current rumors, the Police to service the area. Where are the jobs, B&Q and the local supermarkets can only employ so many people.

This is just a 'punt' to justify millions of pounds in consultancey fees and enquiries which will have to be paid by the local council tax payers.

 



 

Offline pjb

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 10:11:10 AM »
Thanks for keeping us informed, Flyingshop.
 
Why am I not surprised that (at least some) houses very close to the airfield haven't received a flyer? 
 
I truly appreciate the sterling work that FS and others do in disseminating information on things like this.

Offline shapps

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 12:22:41 PM »
Some further background on this subject.

The company who have put out the flyer, Maripossa Investments, own the land that the airfield sits on.

This is exactly the same situation as has already been widely publicised in other areas of Welwyn Hatfield including Commonswood in WGC, whereby every landowner is being invited to put in bids to try to get their land developed in response to the government's plan to squeeze 10,000 houses in Welwyn Hatfield by 2021 and 15,000 by 2031.

This leaflet has come out now because they're making their pitch during the Issues and Options exercise which is being forced on Welwyn Hatfield Council by the government's top-down planning system which requires them to meet those arbitrary housing targets.

If you object to this Panshanger plan or any other, then it's absolutely essential that you object by emailing planningpolicy@welhat.gov.uk or writing to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Council Offices The Campus Welwyn Garden City Herts AL8 6AE to state your objections. Your objections would need to concentrate around real issues of concern like lack of infrastructure, etc.

Two further comments...

In the Conservative Housing Green Paper that I launched last week, I made it clear that all decisions about how many homes to build and where they are built, would be returned to local people.  In return a future Conservative Government will provide financial and other incentives to ensure that sufficient housing is built to meet local demand. In short we will seek to ensure that the local population benefits when homes are built and will stop the insanity of stripping out services (like closing all the major parts of the QE2) whilst insisting tens of thousand more people come and live in the area. Madness!

Secondly, in reference to airfields, they play a vital part in forming green wedges which are good for bio-diversity. In addition small airfields are are used to train pilots who eventually fly for airlines. However airfield closures mean that there are fewer places to train in the UK and we're pushing this industry abroad which is rather shortsighted.  We'll amend planning guidance to help protect airfields.

In short, a Conservative government will try to deal with the issues highlighted in this thread, but we're not elected yet (and still have to win a general election) so the current process is the one that you must respond to if you care about protecting Panshanger or any other unsuitable area being touted about for inappropriate development in Welwyn Hatfield.

Grant.
Follow Grant on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/GrantShapps


Offline MichaelRamsay

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2009, 03:32:11 PM »
I am new to the use of forums such as this so please forgive me for any novice errors that I may inadvertantly make!

I am in agreement with those fellow responders who are in opposition to the proposal to site 900 new houses on the Panshanger airfield. My opposition is based on the view that wholesale development of this nature, almost by definition, cannot be organic and the balancing infrastructure required to service huge step changes in population such as this will inevitably be absent. Generally, development which gradually lifts population sizes is based on demand which is in itself usually based on some creative factor. Housing follows, or should follow pre-existing relatively local demand and not vice versa. If a major new employer arrived in WGC I could understand a rising demand for housing and an argument for an apporpriate level of new development. As it stands at present, it does not seem to me that there is any pre-existing demand for 900 more houses in Welwyn Garden City. There may be a shortage of housing capacity in the UK, although I am far from convinced of that (I believe that there are several hundred thousand empty houses in the UK at present), but I am pretty sure that such a capacity shortage is not located in WGC. The result of siting houses in a location in which there is no local demand for such capacity, will simply create massive transport requirements, with all the attached financial and environmental costs, in addition to the other infrastructural costs mentioned in earlier posts. The proposed site is not within easy walking distance of the railway station which means that the existing long stay car park will be too small to accomodate the extra commuters who will have to use the train to commute to work elswhere. This will be a further infrastructural problem to be solved.

Briefly to deal with the matter of aircraft noise, I am a Panshanger resident and I have no objection to the sound of light aircraft flying into and out of Panshanger airfield.

Offline Flyingshop

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2009, 04:09:04 PM »
You make very good and well articulated points Michael.

I see both sides here; I share your concerns and they could also be applied to all of the green belt land that's under threat of development locally, including the Tesco proposals for Broadwater.

Although, I'm also quite near the airfield and I do find the helicopter noise can be intrusive and constant. Only last weekend I gave up on trying to have a relaxing glass of wine in the garden as the incessant drone of low hovering helicopters ruined the peace. The planes are not such an issue as they are up and gone, but in recent years the helicopters have increased and sometimes you can hear them close by for hours on end. I find that intrusive as they are also louder than most of the planes.

I've not made up my mind yet however and will be visiting the exhibition this weekend to find out more, that's in line with how I voted on the poll here.

Offline Shezza

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2009, 04:41:51 PM »
 The first I heard of this was from the Welwyn Hatfield Times.  I live close to the airfield site, we watch the planes land & take off from our windows and can see the runway from our bedroom windows.  It is such a lovely view of fields.  I would much rather listen to planes any day than look on to another housing estate.  What schools, doctors and facilties would these houses be using?!  The ones in Panshanger are busy enough.  The roads are already conjested, this will cause more traffic to the area.  I am sad that so many pieces of land are being taken over for houses and yet we are being told there is a big shortage - where are all the people coming from that need all these homes?


Offline SHR61

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2009, 04:54:30 PM »
Hello,

I think it fair to nail my colours to the mast and state that I am a member of the flying club at Panshanger, but I am also a resident on the Panshanger estate and have been for 3 years now. I live about 15 minutes walk from the airfield so I am fairly close. I found out about the proposals through the flying club, but I didn't receive any mailshots through my front door.

I understand the developers are trying to put forward that a development on the airfield would do away with "intrusive" aircraft noise. Are they guaranteeing that if they get the green light to develop the airfield that they will be able to stop all the noise from the air traffic that passes overhead Welwyn Garden City as it flies into either Luton or Stanstead? I doubt they will be able to achieve that.

The airfield provides employment for a number of people as well as a leisure facility for aircraft enthusiasts, as well as those who learn to fly with an eye on doing it professionally. There is also the cafe which is a popular meeting place for cycling groups and others.

To put such a development on the airfield would involve a big ramping up of the infrastructure in the area, and you have to wonder if there is actually a demand for 900 new houses in Welwyn. I hope that this is just an exploratory exercise and nothing else.

Offline loveys

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2009, 05:11:40 PM »
Panshanger airdrome will be the thin end of the wedge. If it is developed then the whole of that swathe of countryside along the B1000 will soon follow and for those of us living on Panshanger the countryside will recede ever further away...

Chris L

Offline agricolad

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2009, 06:09:38 PM »
Panshanger Airfield has long been an 'area of special restraint' earmarked for housing from 2011. Building houses on there would help a little towards preventing  Green Belt land elsewhere being chosen ( Birchall Farm and near the Commons). The aircraft noise is now too much by a long way and the flying low over nearby housing is an invasion of privacy. Welwyn Garden City needs housing and this is the least bad option.


Offline SHR61

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2009, 06:34:40 PM »
The aircraft noise is now too much by a long way and the flying low over nearby housing is an invasion of privacy. Welwyn Garden City needs housing and this is the least bad option.

If you think the aircraft noise is too much, do you really think it will stop if they shut the airfield down? Of course it won't. You'll still have the commercial air traffic flying over Welwyn Garden City at a mere 3000 feet and making noise. The level of noise from Panshanger is minimal and is a long way from being "too much".

As for the aircraft flying low over housing, just how is that an invasion of privacy? Do you think that the pilots and instuctors are looking down into the houses as they come into land? I can assure you as someone currently doing my private pilots licence that I have plenty to keep me occupied just flying the aircraft and making sure I land it safely and there is no time to be looking in the houses or gardens.

Gerryo

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2009, 07:18:42 PM »
Panshanger Airfield has long been an 'area of special restraint' earmarked for housing from 2011. Building houses on there would help a little towards preventing  Green Belt land elsewhere being chosen ( Birchall Farm and near the Commons). The aircraft noise is now too much by a long way and the flying low over nearby housing is an invasion of privacy. Welwyn Garden City needs housing and this is the least bad option.

I live very near the final run in path and the noise isn't a problem most of the time, occasionally there are noisy helicopters, but the police helicopter out strips all of them combined. And the privacy issue, simple, move if it worries you.

There is no local need for more housing and this development will only make Welwyn more of a London dormitory and detract from the local community

Offline LisaG

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Re: Panshanger Airfield - Housing proposals
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2009, 07:31:43 PM »
The Panshanger Airfield should stay as it is.  I am a resident on the Panshanger estate and I don't feel there is any noise issue at all, in fact, light aircraft are nice to watch.  Light Aircraft Flying Clubs, as far as I know, are few and far between and are in many cases the start of a pilot's career.  The Airfield as it is, is a far better option that 900 houses, that I don't believe are needed in Panshanger.  I am not a pilot, but I do enjoy walking over to the airfield for a coffee and watching the planes.  There is no way houses should be built on that land.  This is on the edge of countryside and one of the reasons I bought my property some 11 years ago.


 


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