View Full Version : Turweston Action Group. Help!

9th May 2004, 08:18
Those of you in the VAC will already have received a letter requesting support for the continuation of the VAC Fly-Ins at Turweston.

From information received(!) It seems that the bloke who moved next door to Turdy with his skittish polo ponies and quickly became chief NAMBY (not above my backyard) in the TAG - since found regularly at the end of the runway counting movements apparently - has scored a victory in getting the April VAC Daffodil Rally refused.

Turdy operates under some fairly Draconian planning restrictions and Chief NAMBY seems to be obsessed with the enforcement of same.

For the past 3 years the local authority have approved Applications for these excellent events - steam engines, tractors, bikes, cars the lot and a great day out.

Our fear now is that the future of these events is in serious jeapordy.

The VAC has requested that letters of support for the events be sent to the Planning Officer in the case.

My guess is that Chief Namby has pressured him into a course of action that he didn't really want to take but buckled under pressure.

Might it be that his complaints - if considered to be isolated and extremist - could actually lead to a relaxation of the current restrictions? One way to get this bloke off their backs?

Anyway, here is the gist of my letter -

'Mr Tony Barker
Dept. of Environment & Planning
66 High Street
HP20 1SD

Ref – Application No. 04/ 00984/ APP

Dear Mr. Barker,

I write to protest about your refusal to allow the April VAC fly-in to take place at Turweston.

The April event, one of the first vintage aircraft meetings of the year, is hugely popular and I would definitely have been there with both of my vintage machines. The atmosphere there is a unique blend of old flying machines, farm machinery, old cars and motorbikes. Pure nostalgia and a tremendous attraction for members of the local community.

It is widely known within the local aviation community that the level of complaints are very low, all thanks to David Owen of Turweston, ably supported by his excellent Manager Chris Brown, a pilot also and thus able to provide expert noise abatement guidance to visitors.

Regrettably however, we suspect that the complaints largely emanate from one local individual who, within a few months of moving close to a licensed airfield, began to complain about it.

Whether true or not, the belief is that this individual is obsessed about the airfield and seems to spend a lot of his time counting aircraft and aircraft movements.

My belief is that the neighbours are generally quite happy with the current flight circuits – unusually high and large (at 1400ft and 3 miles instead of the more normal 800ft and 2 miles) and with an even more unusual ‘dog-legged’ approach to avoid over-flying properties on the ends of the runway.

If true, it seems that the efforts of a small group of protesters (every airfield has them), perhaps fuelled by somebody who has the time and obsession to pursue their own personal agenda (however complex that might be), have thwarted the enjoyment of thousands.

My aircraft are rare survivors of British aircraft, now more than 60 years old. I am but the temporary custodian of these important aviation artefacts and do what I can to show them to the public.

There is an immense level of interest in aircraft – arguably the most exciting machines ever made by man – and this interest should surely be tempered with a relatively insignificant proportion of complaints from NAMBY’s ( ie ‘not above my back yard’).

I bet that the overwhelming majority of the population would be overjoyed to see the skies overhead filled with aircraft of a bygone era. How wonderful for the kids too!

It seems extraordinary, even in a democratic society such as ours that people who move alongside any activity with complaint potential, be it noise, smell or otherwise have an unfettered/ unweighted voice when it comes to complaining.

The Planning restrictions on Turweston are Draconian. I know of no other airfield in the country that has a 4.00pm watershed on a Sunday – and with such a restriction on resident and visiting aircraft.

I implore you to rethink this controversial decision to ruin the enjoyment of so many people, relax the existing general planning restrictions and maybe, just maybe, acknowledge what David Owen has done for the employment of local people and for creating a facility that the local community should justifiably, and ordinarily be proud of.

My guess however, is that he will continue to suffer the relentless, unfair complaints of an embittered minority who clutter your desks with letters, bombard you with phone calls and quite possible force you into taking action that you don’t really believe is justified under the circumstances?

What has happened since you first began to grant permission for these events? It all boils down to just one person I reckon.

Solution? Simple!

Relax the operating hours, allow for an increase in movements significant enough to stop the obsessed from sitting at the end of the runway to count them and grant the Fly-Ins.

There a many days throughout the year where flying, a fair-weather pastime, is impossible. The Turweston movement ‘quota’ is therefore rarely achieved i.e. less ‘noise pollution potential’ on a regular basis than the current Regulations allow.

Conversely, on a nice sunny Sunday, I can’t think of many nicer places to fly to than Turweston for a friendly greeting and to enjoy a piece of cake and a cup of tea in excellent facilities provided by a true visionary.

Clearly, a more pragmatic approach is called for.

In France, from where I have just returned in one of my aircraft, local communities are actively and financially supported to provide aviation facilities. How different things are here.

Please do the right thing for your local community, support the employment of a number of your residents and weight the complaints correctly. We do not believe that this is happening at all at Turweston.'


May I ask anybody with a desire to see these events continue to please take time out and write to the above address.

Turdy deserves our support.

We will all sigh if something awful happens there, just as much as Burnaston NAMBY's did when the operators caved in to the protests and flogged it to Toyota to build a rocking great car factory! (I think I have got that right?)

Anyway guys, I do anticipate posts from people who will say, 'such and such an airfield has got similar restrictions, you've spelt that wrong' etc. but that ain't the point. This thread is to support Turdy so please, rather than steer it off subject (I know, I know - I've done it !) spend the same amount of time putting pen to paper.


Rallye Driver
9th May 2004, 19:57

RD :ok:

vintage ATCO
9th May 2004, 20:30
Consider it done.


max roll rate
10th May 2004, 23:30
Thanks for the support HP, its just as you say such a shame that a well written letter will fall on deaf ears, word on the street is that the nimby is out stirring the other villages up again! It makes me sick that we have worked so hard to make Turdy what it is and 1 man can ruin all of our efforts. Well if he wins I think I will take my self to another country where your efforts are rewarded not punished. I am told he has the help of a ppl holder from another airfield!! And also reads the aviation forums.:mad: :mad: :yuk: :yuk:

11th May 2004, 08:44
Might be worth posting this also in Private Flying, as not everyone there reads this forum. Perhaps also in the Flyer Forum.

Orange Arm Waver
11th May 2004, 22:22
Well stated and put across. Quite missed the opportunity to swing 'PF in April. :ok:

Be assured that you friendly arm waving team are also writing in support. I believe the whole thing is utterly criminal that they can get away with it. Keep up the good work and don't let the bar stewards grind you (and the field) down. :ok:
They better not win where else can I bring my kids that they enjoy and can get good nosh at a good price..?:(

ATB guys


12th May 2004, 13:14

Wrote to Richard Bacon (Cons).


Grandad Biggles
12th May 2004, 16:26
Mine is in todays post

13th May 2004, 12:41
Shouldnt we be writing to the council complaining about "a bloke who moved next door to Turdy with his skittish polo ponies", causing a nuisance to hundreds of people trying to enjoy aviation. And suggest he moves the ponies to a more appropriate location.