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Sunday, 25th November 2007

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Campaigners fight on despite Sywell's runway approval

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Campaigners have vowed not to give up the fight against a new all-weather runway at Sywell Aerodrome despite permission officially being granted by the Department for Transport.

The controversial proposals for the runway have finally been given the go-ahead following a nine-year campaign by residents top block the developments, and £1 million investment by the aerodrome's operators to secure permission
A report issued by the DfT confirmed the runway can be built and concluded that there is no reason for planners to alter their application by reducing its length, denying calls from campaigners that it would have a detrimental impact on the area.

Matthew Hague, secretary of the anti-runway campaign group STARE, said the DfT decision would not mark the end of action to put a halt to the runway, which will cater for planes up to 16 tonnes.

He said: "Obviously we are very disappointed in the decision, because we still believe the application is fundamentally flawed.

"We will have to
re-group and look at the report in detail to see exactly what the proposals are, and then we will consult with our legal experts to find a way forward.

"It is certainly not the end of the campaign because we still feel the runway will have a detrimental effect on the rural environment and the lives of residents."

In the final report, DfT spokesman Peter Kember said: "The inspector recommended that the appeal be allowed and planning permission granted subject to conditions.

"It was suggested that the scope of the appeal application be "cut down" and that the paved runway should be reduced in length and width and relocated further from the village, but the Secretaries of State agree with the Inspector's reasoning and conclusion, and consider that there is no clear evidential justification for the grant of permission for something less than the development applied for."

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Last Updated: 22 November 2007 7:26 PM
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