Hatfield Aerodrome plans polarise opinion as doubts grow over Panshanger

PUBLISHED: 10:13 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:26 12 July 2018

Aviation enthusiast Colin Fitch has submitted the planning application

Aviation enthusiast Colin Fitch has submitted the planning application

Archant

Plans for a community airfield at the former Hatfield Aerodrome site have polarised opinion.

Aviation enthusiast Colin Fitch submitted proposals for a runway and associated facilities in Ellenbrook Fields after doubts emerged over a relocated runway in Panshanger.

The move has triggered over 200 responses from locals on Welwyn Hatfield Council’s website.

A Clarkson Court resident wrote: “Hopefully it will not be long before planes are taking off from Hatfield again.

“I live extremely close to the proposed site and appreciate the planning put into the application and am not concerned by it.

“It will be a great addition to our town going into the future.”

Another resident, from Great North Road, said: “I would have loved it if we could have maintained the Panshanger facility, but [this would be an] excellent alternative given the region’s longevity in the aerospace industry.”

If approved, the grass runway would be a total length of 1,290m, including an end safely area to meet regulations, and access would be off Albatross Way.

There would also be associated facilities including two 20m by 15m hangars, a 30m by 10m clubhouse, a 50-vehicle car park and a community viewing and picnic area.

A Cotton Field resident wrote that the airfield would inject new life into the area and provide jobs, while an East Mead local added that Welwyn Hatfield “desperately needs an aviation hub”.

However, there was also a significant amount of opposition, with several claiming in their submitted objections it would be too close to their homes.

A Lavender Close resident said: “It is already used for free by so many locals. There are lots of young children and we do not need the added noise of an airfield.

“House prices would go down and I personally think people would avoid the area.”

A resident living in The Runway added: “The proposed project will heavily deprive and punish the local community, the neighbours, the local children and wildlife.

“It will bring no benefits to the local community, runners, walkers and residents in the area.”

Another objector said the schools and community groups would no longer be able to use the field.

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