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Bourn Airfield Development

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Bourn Airfield Development

Old 10th Jul 2013, 17:01
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Bourn Airfield Development

Hi All

We are trying to save our local historic airfield of Bourn from a proposed housing development. Bourn is a former bomber command airfield and is still an active GA airfield which is located in rural Cambridgeshire.

There is a lot of objection to the proposed development of 3,500 houses on the airfield by the local community and the UK aviation community in general, but we could do with as much support as possible.

The intention behind this message is to raise awareness of the plight of former RAF Bourn. There is an e-petition on the South Cambridgeshire District Council's website which can be signed by anybody who objects to the proposed development.
http://scambs.moderngov.co.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=1000000006

Any support would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 20:39
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What would make a practical difference would be to find an acceptable alternative location for the housing - petitions don't make any difference to planning decisions. SCDC has no option but to meet the objectively assessed housing need (you just need to keep an eye on the developing case law at examinations), and no amount of signatures can make the slightest legal difference: should they fail to do so developers could put in applications to build in all sorts of places which would provoke even greater opposition.

Petitions are essentially not useful in such cases, they're simply not something that's part of the legal process.
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 20:45
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Hmmm,

I think I would look much more kindly on this if the flying club buildings there had seen some sort of care on my last visit (some while ago). Dirty, smelly, and too typical of flying clubs in the UK whose owners have no concept of the sort of environment and services that people (rightly) expect nowadays. The runways were a disgrace.

Yes, there is pressure on land for development, but there's also responsibility on those running flying schools etc either to make them attractive, pleasant, and clean, or to shut up and move on. I know which I think the folk at Bourn should have done, and how long ago.

I do apologise. The truth hurts, but it may still be the truth.
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 07:53
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Dirty, smelly, and too typical of flying clubs in the UK whose owners have no concept of the sort of environment and services that people (rightly) expect nowadays.
The very same people who grumble and claim they are being ripped off when charged for the services they (rightly) expect. You get what you pay for and many would not be flying if it were not for the band of enthusiasts who have kept the small airfields going. They do not receive subsidies from the Chamber of Commerce like they do in France.
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 08:59
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SCDC are well known for their anti aviation stance and everything should be done to resist developments which are detrimental to flying.
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 13:59
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The last time my friend visited Bourn he described it as a dump.

With completely run down runways, hangarage, and poor visitor's facilities, and rotting aircraft awaiting the scrapyard in one corner.

I'm not suprised it's being guzzled up now. Their only chance of their survival is to produce the movement numbers and numbers of resident aircraft. I'm guessing it's not many.

Cambridge Airport cost a little bit more, but was way better and had everything there that he wanted, including a bus in and out of town.

Last edited by soaringhigh650; 11th Jul 2013 at 14:04.
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 19:54
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The runways were a disgrace.
I was actually slightly surprised to be allowed to take a club aircraft there!
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 20:05
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Says it all . . .

Default Parallels Plesk Panel Page

(Their website according to:- Bourn Airfield)
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 21:51
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Try www.rfcbourn.co.uk
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 00:53
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I'm sorry, but it's at this point that I have to step in and defend Bourn.

Yes, after covering over 40 hours there I'll be the first to admit that the runways are not perfect. However, while they are not perfect, 06/24 is useable and 18/36 is in a condition that I've never had any problems with.

Also, nobody I know that lives in the surrounding area wants the airfield to be built on. The extra houses will simply mean that the two villages of Bourn and Cambourne become connected.

Finally, the facilities. Bourn is not a busy airfield, so why do some expect it to have all the facilities of somewhere like Sywell or Leicester? If you fly into Bourn, you can have a free cup of tea or coffee and a chat. This all goes to prove that one of the true airfield killers is people's expectations being too high.

Everyone likes to pick on Bourn, this is something I've learnt after a few years going through forums. But before you hit out at Bourn, think about airfields like Henlow and Little Staughton. They have facilities and runway quality similar to Bourn. But I don't see them consistently under fire.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 07:53
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From 2002 to 2007 I worked at the University and my wife and I sold up our family house and bought a flat in Cambridge with intention of settling there.

It quickly became apparent that Cambridge is a traffic nightmare and that the planners think you can build new houses and even new villages like Cambourne with only limited infrastructure investment, because all those new residents will go everywhere by public transport or bicycle.

Having ascertained that planners are nuts we eventually settled in Gloucestershire and I commuted by aeroplane between Kemble/Gloucester and Fowlmere/Cambridge as the weather dictated until I couldn't stand working at the University anymore.

Notwithstanding the issues around Bourn airfield, if it's built on, the surrounding area will be like living in Battersea, but with fewer facilities.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 17:50
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There are some people who think they can move into Cambridge and drive everywhere. Just imagine if that actually happened - three times as many cars on the road, as the majority who currently walk, cycle, or take the bus or train to work start driving around. Would these same people expect to move to central London and drive everywhere, or would they in that case do their homework first? Why not do your homework in all cases when deciding where to move?

Whether you call these people "nuts", or whether you reserve that description for the planners, whose job it is to try to cope with a considerable set of competing unreasonable demands, is up to you, I guess. I work with the planners - both the spatial planners at the city council and the transport planners at the county council - every day, and I can't think of one of them I'd call "nuts". Could you perhaps let me know the names of the people you think are "nuts" so that I can check them out?

The "problem" for people like you, as I've pointed out before, is the deal with the Germans whereby Cambridge never got bombed, so there weren't vast areas of desolate destroyed city in the 1950s that could be given over to the motor car. And the residents don't want their green spaces given over to the motor car either, and the University isn't about to sacrifice a college or three, so that's how we end up where we are today.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 19:35
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I wonder if Gertrude should declare their interest at this point?
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 11:30
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There is nothing wrong with Henlows runways. They are not that bad for grass at all. 02/20 and 09R/27L and 09L/27R are long and fairly good actually. No food at flying club, but lots of shops and places in the village to get food and things. I dont think Henlow accepts visiting aircraft without a lot of notice anyway as it is MOD land.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 11:33
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Planning portfolio holder at Cambridge City Council, hardly a secret.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 15:02
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Cambridge used to be a market town with a University and an airport. Its public transport except in the town centre during the day is pretty poor and expensive. Quite a lot of us don't have time or inclination to travel by bicycle in all weathers. Getting around the area is possible by car except at the rush hour when it is indeed quite like London.

Planners are nuts because they keep building new settlements like Cambourne without proper mass transit systems and if those aren't built then your development needs to be incremental development at existing settlements with infrastructure that can also be improved incrementally.

There are many areas of Cambridge that would benefit from the bulldozer I agree!
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 22:15
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Friendly working airfield

I always like flying into Bourn as it is a friendly, working airfield rather than a glossy commercial concern. Everyone there seems to love flying and I don't mind if it's scruffy. Yes, I could pay 25 to land at Cambridge and enjoy a coffee machine and spotless planning room but I actually like making a cuppa at Bourn and being excused the landing fee because they welcome visits from "interesting aircraft" and waive the usual 10 fee
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 17:54
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Why is it that these councils have to choose airfields to build on? It is the same throughout the country. I think it is time that we set up an organisation that encourages building on council golf courses, and then watch them squeal. My local airfield (Sandown) has been saved from any form of 'development' due to the recent purchase by two real aviation enthusiasts. Thanks gentlemen!

So called 'developers', and their council henchmen - go forth.....

And, if so many houses are required, then why are there so many on the market. False pricing? One way to make sure that the council tax is well above what it should be. Now there is a thought.

Last edited by Fieldhawk; 31st Jul 2013 at 17:54.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 19:42
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I'm sorry, but amongst the several things in your post that don't make sense the last is the silliest. Firstly, the valuations that are used for council tax come from 1987 or thereabouts, current market value has absolutely nothing at all to do with it, and secondly, the council needs a certain amount of money in order to deliver the services that the local residents vote for, and that has to be divided amonst the houses that are there, and the prices don't come into it.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 21:57
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And, if so many houses are required, then why are there so many on the market. False pricing? One way to make sure that the council tax is well above what it should be. Now there is a thought.
You know, quite often when you smell a rat, it's actually not a rat you can smell; it's your own BS.
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