Airport expansion scuppers housing scheme

29.8.2008   (Planning Daily)

PlanningResource, 29 August 2008

Two appeals involving the development of land close to Birmingham international
airport have failed because of the potential for future occupiers to be harmed
by aircraft noise.

The schemes would have involved the construction of 16 apartments and between
55 and 57 houses.

 

But a masterplan for the expansion of the airport proposed a threefold increase
in passenger numbers requiring a total of 205,000 air transport movements compared
with 109,000 in 2006.

Various noise measurements and calculations were undertaken by the appellants
and the council and the former placed weight on the effectiveness of a new 12m
high bund which they claimed would attenuate noise levels.

But despite these measures an inspector ruled that in 2030 the whole of the appeal
site would be subject to a level of noise exposure where planning permission should
not normally be given unless material considerations weighed firmly in favour
of the development.

The occupants would be subject to unacceptable levels of noise during the day
and at night only the use of mechanical ventilation would ensure that the future
occupiers could secure a peaceful night’s sleep.

This, he ruled, would be unacceptable and the cases were dismissed.

link to article

 

Download the full appeal decision from Compass Online.

100-056-892 SOLIHULL View PDF
 
110-134 ELMDON LANE, MARSTON GREEN, SOLIHULL
 
Proposed airport expansion scuppers housing scheme Two appeals involving the
development of land close to Birmingham international airport in the West Midlands
failed because of the potential for future occupiers to be harmed by aircraft
noise. The schemes proposed developments which were broadly the same in their
scope, comprising the demolition of existing dwellings to enable the construction
of 16 apartments and between 55 and 57 houses. A masterplan for the expansion
of the airport supported by a planning application sought the construction of
a runway extension to increase the capacity and versatility of the facility. The
masterplan proposed a threefold increase in passenger numbers requiring a total
of 205,000 air transport movements compared with 109,000 in 2006. It included
indicative noise contours showing the impact on background levels in 2006 and
2030. Various noise measurements and calculations were undertaken by the appellants
and the council and the former placed weight on the effectiveness of a new 12m
high bund which they claimed would attenuate noise levels. When coupled with internal
insulation of the properties closest to the airport adequate internal noise levels
would be achieved, they claimed, relying in part on the advice of the council’s
environmental protection officer who had concluded that these mitigation measures
would be acceptable. The inspector agreed that noise associated with aircraft
taxiing or when braking on landing would be attenuated by the bund. However, with
the proposed runway extension it seemed likely that some aircraft on taking off
would have cleared the height of the bund when passing the appeal site and this
would reduce the effectiveness of the barrier. In his opinion, in 2030 the whole
of the appeal site would be subject to a level of noise exposure where planning
permission should not normally be given unless material considerations weighed
firmly in favour of the development. With this conclusion in mind he recorded
that the council anticipated meeting its housing land availability targets to
2011 and consequently there was no overriding need to release the site for development.
Dismissing the appeals, he ruled, would not inevitably lead to development on
less sustainable, greenfield land and the provision of affordable housing, while
beneficial, was also not an overriding consideration, he opined. The occupants
would be subject to unacceptable levels of noise during the day and at night only
the use of mechanical ventilation would ensure that the future occupiers could
secure a peaceful night’s sleep. This was an artificial means of trying to make
the scheme acceptable, he opined, and in the absence of compelling reasons why
the schemes should be permitted, the appeals had to be dismissed, he concluded.