Calls for restricted flights and noise monitoring over Midhurst

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A restriction on the number of flights to TAG Farnborough Airport and noise monitoring have been called for by Midhurst town councillors in response to consultation over new flightpath plans.

The new consultation comes in the wake of fresh plans from TAG Farnborough for a concentrated ‘racetrack’ style flightpath with lower flying jets.

Some 24 parishes are affected, many of which sit in the South Downs National Park. The proposed flightpath proposals appears to be channelled over Easebourne and Fernhurst, Camelsdale and Haslemere.

But chairman of the planning and infrastructure committee Gordon McAra said: “The main flightpath is a little to the east of Midhurst although I dare say we will see the planes.”

He said planes were set to go over Midhurst at around 6,000 feet but descend to some 3,000 over Camelsdale.

The noise level would be some 55 decibels, he said, around the same level as a conversation.

“We have got to consider noise, pollution and the sheer volume,” he said, adding he did not believe current plans would ‘affect us greatly’.

But town council chairman Mark Purves said he believed councillors should express caution: “We do not know how much they will keep chipping away and adding more flights over Midhurst,” he said.

The town council is to tell TAG Farnborough that although it does not have a particular problem with current proposals, the concentrated flightpath would be inappropriate over the urban area of Midhurst.

The CAGNE pressure group formed to fight Gatwick noise and emissions is concerned affected communities are not aware of the consultation which ends on October 5.

A spokesman said: “Once again voluntary groups such as parish councils and residents groups are being asked to undertake and understand complex airspace changes that could have devastating impact on their communities during a time when many are on holiday. We have witnessed this timing on a number of occasions with Gatwick Airport and it is simply unacceptable procedure by an airport, the sponsors of the airspace change proposals.”

The next public meeting is September 20 at Capron House, Midhurst.