Comment ID 1401
Document Section Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028 Yeovil - Vision and Proposals What should the Local Plan deliver? Yeovil Airfield Flight Safety Zone Yeovil Airfield Flight Safety Zone and Policy YV5 View all on this section
Respondent Rob Boyden View all by this respondent
Response Date 10 Aug 2012
Do you consider the DPD is Legally Compliant?
Do you consider the DPD is Sound?
If you have responded that the DPD is unsound, Do you consider the DPD is unsound because it is:

Objection 8. Options for Policy YV5 'Yeovil Airfield flight safety zone' have not been explored thoroughly or imaginatively. The Local Plan is intended as a long term plan and yet this policy is dictated by immediate needs. The airfield is critical to AgustaWestland's (AW) current operation but is an anachronism that should be challenged whilst improving AWs future competivity. The opportunity of relocating AWs flight test activity to the much bigger airfield at Yeovilton should be explored. A similar arrangement already exists with the the Agusta operation in Italy which is based on the edge of a major commercial airport. A relocation of AWs flight test activity would have the following benefits, it:

  • Provides an ideal solution for brownfield development clearly evident when looking at a map of Yeovil
  • Provides a window of opportunity for AW to consolidate its myriad of post war offices and buildings into a modern sustainable office and operations centre in its existing location ( a massive boost to operational efficiency, a huge cost saving and a chance to provide an employment centre consistent with the local plan aspirations and one that would be attractive to high skilled workers and graduates)
  • Overcomes AW's perennial problem of maintaining its airfield certification in a safe and cost effective manner
  • Reduces noise pollution (the rotary test facilities should also be relocated)
  • Provides a safer flight test operation for the town whilst retaining the office and assembly operations
  • Provides a more appropriate facility for sensitive testing of military and industrially sensitive aircraft including the increasing shift to unmanned aircraft.
  • The airfield at Yeovilton would have increased importance thereby providing an increased safeguard to its future

The option could be funded by the sale of the land and operational cost savings to AW. Having previously worked at AW I understand how tenuous its continuing justification for an airfield at Yeovil is and how desperately it needs a major transformation to avoid a slow industrial death.

What changes do you suggest to make the DPD legally compliant or sound?
If your representation is seeking a change, do you consider it necessary to participate at the oral part of the examination?
If you wish to participate at the oral part of the examination, please outline why you consider this to be necessary: