Pleasure of few at expense of many

IN response to Rupert Taylor’s article last week about East Sussex Gliding Club’s application to remove all noise related planning conditions.

We live in the Ringmer area and have no issues with the gliders overhead or the use of the winch to launch them. In fact it seems to be a wholly peaceful and sustainable activity that has very little impact on those who live nearby.

As the gliding club’s website states “You can float along enjoying the view silently and peacefully”.

However we have always had an issue with any of the powered craft that are permitted to use the field which prevent anyone around from enjoying any outdoor activity ‘silently and peacefully’ themselves.

So the recent application made by the East Sussex Gliding Club to lift all noise related planning conditions came as an unwelcome surprise.

The noise of the tug and powered gliders affects a very large area around the site, and the engines are at best annoying and at times incessant already.

It is important to note that the gliding field is most busy at weekends and bank holidays, on fine days, during the evenings and in the summer months, and this is exactly when other people are most likely to be outdoors themselves and therefore most affected by the noise.

So it could be argued that there should be more restrictions in place for the use of the powered crafts during these times, not less.

The lifting of the current restrictions would mean there could be more planes, flying up to seven days a week, including bank holidays, and flying until nightfall.

If the application were granted it would not provide any additional employment in the area.

On the contrary, any increase in plane activity would most certainly damage local businesses associated with the countryside, tourism and the National Park (e.g holiday cottages, B&Bs, caravans, local visitor attractions, outdoor leisure providers etc) of which there are many.

The original restrictions of use were imposed ‘to safeguard the rural amenities of the area from excessive noise disturbance’ and these ‘rural amenities’ have not diminished in the intervening years.

On the contrary they have increased, and the opportunity for more employment associated with the new National Park has never been better.

Obviously none of this would benefit from increased noise and activity from a local airfield.

It seems the application will guarantee the selfish pleasure of a few at the expense of many.

Mrs C Buckwell

The Broyle, Ringmer