National park authority could bring pilot back down to earth

An aerial view of plans for the airfield, which have been submitted to the North York Moors National Authority.
An aerial view of plans for the airfield, which have been submitted to the North York Moors National Authority.

A Scarborough pilot’s plans to transform part of his 100-acre farmland into an airfield are set to be blocked after concerns were raised over the scheme’s impact on a the national park.

Bob Walker wants to build an airstrip, including two grass runways, an aircraft hangar and a flight planning office, at South Moor Farm, Langdale End.

But the North York Moors National Park Authority’s planning committee is being recommended to refuse the application for the development at South Moor Farm, Langdale End,

Concerns have been raised about the noise which would be generated and the effect the development would have on local communities as well as the national park’s tourism industry.

Objections have been lodged by parish councils, including Langdale End, Ebberston and Snainton, as well as The British Horse Society, which fears horses would be frightened by aircraft noise.

Walking organisations have also objected, including the Scarborough Ramblers Group which claimed the fundamental point of a national park is to create “somewhere for people to find peace and tranquillity”.

Residents have sent objections to the park authority’s committee which is set to make a decision on the scheme today.

They have claimed the area already has to tolerate motor rallies and say homes will be in the direct flight path of aircraft and the development would have no benefit to the area.

One objector said: “A more inappropriate activity in the national park would be difficult to imagine.”

Support has come from people as far away as Kent, Buckinghamshire and Sussex, who claim the airfield would provide a “convenient location to the visit the park and family” and would support tourism. The applicant has claimed the airfield would enhance his bed and breakfast business and diverse the farm’s economy.

But planning officers maintain the scheme is contrary to the national park’s policies on tourism and planning and would be in an area “rich in prehistoric archaeology”.