Residents' concerns about aircraft stack plans for Luton

I READ the letter from L Timms in The Hunts Post (March 17) with great interest. She claims that Jonathan Djanogly is now no longer concerned about the potential impact of the stacking zones in his constituency. Notwithstanding the report in The Hunts Pos

I READ the letter from L Timms in The Hunts Post (March 17) with great interest. She claims that Jonathan Djanogly is now no longer concerned about the potential impact of the stacking zones in his constituency.

Notwithstanding the report in The Hunts Post that may have given this impression, I can confirm that on Saturday at a meeting with eight councillors of all levels of local government he said no such thing.

Mr Djanogly is in fact continuing to widely consult on this important issue and has not taken a supportive view on the NATS proposals. The public consultation details were published on his website (www.jonathandjanogly.com) within one day of being opened and he had a meeting with the NATS representatives within one week of being sent the 400-page proposal for altering the stacking zones.

Surely the constituents of the Huntingdon constituency should be congratulating their Member of Parliament on this speedy action rather than denigrating him.


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Councillor ANDREW HANSARD

Huntingdonshire District Council

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Editor's note: Mr Djanogly did not say, and nor did we quote him as saying, that he was no longer concerned about the NATS proposal. He said he had been reassured in a meeting with NATS officials that the impact of the plan, if put into effect, would not be as bad as originally feared.

NO doubt Jonathan Djanogly was as interested as I to read L Timms of Little Gransden's excellent letter (March 26). I write as one of his constituents who is heading for life near the wind farm, views of the new A14 route and with near constant stacking aircraft thrown in for good measure. I really don't feel like I have hit the jackpot.

Long ago I had despaired of his choice not to support the opposition of the residents of the Offords to the proposed new A14 route. I was moderately pleased about his apparent, but not particularly vocal, opposition to the siting of the proposed wind farm at Graveley, but I was appalled at his reassurance, following his meeting with NATS, that the stacking of aircraft would not be a problem to those of his constituents who would certainly be affected.

I can imagine how difficult it would be to support measures that would be detrimental to some of his constituents and advantageous to others, but I fail to see why on earth he cannot actively support opposition to a wind farm that could equally well be sited at sea without affecting anyone and support a stacking system also over the sea where again no one would be affected.

We hear much from the Conservative Party about support for the family - perhaps Mr Djanogly should follow that party line a little more closely and listen to and support those constituent families who would be severely inconvenienced by these measures, which are motivated by financial success without consideration for others.

MICHAEL LYNN

High Street

Offord D'Arcy

IN 1967, we moved from Rochford in Essex. Having searched in a radius of 100 or so miles, we found our little bit of paradise - the Gransdens.

We had lived under the approach landing to Southend Airport, and planes were a hazard we had to put up with. But moving on with our lives we came to the Gransdens, a wonderful part of the world, unspoiled and very rural. No pollution from continual aviation activity. Fresh, clean air, wonderful wildlife. A beautiful white deer would come into our garden. Everything unspoiled, and the peace we obtained from our move was truly awe-inspiring.

We have campaigned in the past to keep the area as rustic as humanly possible. We are now in our 70s, and to have aircraft stacking within 6,000 feet of our home is causing great distress, not only to ourselves but to our neighbours, who are also our friends.

Our wildlife and pets that we all have rely on the tranquillity of the area, and would be traumatised by the continual air traffic, which I'm told goes on all day.

We live in a lane, a no-through road, with no street lights and no paths. People enjoy the walks to the woods that it leads to - woods that date back to the Domesday Book.

How can anyone in their right minds wish to change such an area.

Put the stacking area in this green and pleasant land somewhere where it does not ruin people's daily lives, over the sea, anywhere where it won't hurt anyone or anything.

WENDY BACON

Church Street

Little Gransden

NATS says that one of the reasons for choosing rural areas to stack aircraft over is to reduce the effects of noise. This seems illogical.

Urban areas have a higher ground-generated level of background noise, which masks the noise of overhead aircraft. People living in rural areas, with a lower level of background noise, will suffer disproportionately more disturbance.

The masking effect of noise is a well-known psycho-acoustic property, used in open plan offices, public buildings etc to prevent unwanted noise from being carried too far. In short, the impact to humans of aircraft overhead will be less in an urban area than in a rural area.

In general, the plans seem to have been drawn up to suit NATS and the aviation industry, with disregard or possibly a misunderstanding of the noise blight that the changes would bring to those on the ground in rural areas, compared to the minimal impact in larger centres of population.

It would be interesting to know if people under the current stacks in urban areas even notice the aircraft noise above the background noise. One could argue this from the other perspective and ask the question: how many people on the ground will notice any benefit from the changes, as opposed to the number who will suffer increased noise?

RICHARD NEIL

Woodfield Lane

Lower Cambourne

IT is unacceptable that an organisation such as the NATS can make decisions without the appropriate consultation with the people affected.

Considering NATS says 12,000,000 people can be affected by the flight stacking system, why have they only put out 750,000 leaflets (none of which I or my neighbours have seen)? This smacks of deceit and of a dictatorial attitude, since the proportion of information is out of balance.

It does not, however, surprise me, as the Government appears to adopt the same attitude, thereby setting the example to all organisations, including the local councils. So it does not surprise me that our local representative does not appear to give a damn about what is happening in the area.

What is the fallout from the stacking of aircraft in tonnes of CO2 etc, as well as the noise levels that will be created, and what has the HSE to say about the effects on people's health and welfare?

As NATS staff are effectively at work when they make such decisions, surely the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 applies. If the HSE legislation applies, then NATS staff are personally to blame for any ill-health that occurs through any proposals they make, which may be approved, as well as those who approve them, including the Government.

It would be interesting to find out what the response/reaction of NATS would be to the possibility of prosecution under the Act for any such ill effects brought about by their actions?

JANE HEATH-JONES

Raleigh Close

Eaton Socon

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