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Councillors approve new condition for Antrobus airstrip
FUTURE occupants of an Antrobus farm will now be permitted to use its airstrip after councillors approved the variation of a condition attached to an existing application.
The proposal, by John Backhouse of Fairbank Farm, in Sandy Lane, was given the thumbs-up by members of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWAC) planning committee on July 3.
Steve Lewis, principal planning officer for the council, explained that Mr Backhouse had previously secured planning permission for his airstrip for light aircraft, with conditions attached, and wished to change the wording of who could use the land.
He said the new condition allowed the occupier of the property sole use of the airstrip, instead of just permitting use by Mr Backhouse only, but stressed the other conditions would remain as valid as when they were imposed by the planning inspector.
Mike Dolan said he spoke on behalf of residents when he described living close to the airstrip as ‘terrifying’.
“We have witnessed Mr Backhouse fly over properties on a number of occasions and it was terrifying,” he said.
“The children next door ran into their home crying and our horses were running out, thank God we were not riding on them.”
Chris Tratalos, of Antrobus Parish Council, echoed concerns about the flight path and suggested there should be a way to monitor flights.
He said: “At the moment there is no log of all flights made that is available to the council.
“By further diluting this permission, which was only given after careful consideration by the inspector, it will make an already problematic situation worse and even less enforceable.”
Marbury Clr Malcolm Byram told the committee he was ‘perplexed’ by the application and questioned members as to how any enforcement procedures would be actioned.
Fellow Marbury Clr Norman Wright said the applicant was determined to ‘eat away’ at the planning authority until he got what he wanted.
He added: “If the ownership of the farm changes, which it can do, he or she can apply for the permission.
“It doesn’t say it’s not going to be granted.”
But Clr Jill Houlbrook said she could not see any harm in granting the application and said any consortium was not going to be a permanent resident of the farm.
The variation to the planning condition was passed by five votes to four.