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Watchdog threat over airfield plan approval

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: December 03, 2012

FORMAL COMPLAINT . . . Kath Hopcroft, Catherine Gill, Nicola Ireson, John Lameris, Jan Kelly, Kay Jones, Derica Tummey, Kate Povey, Graham Higginson and Graham Tummey.

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RESIDENTS in Hixon have complained to Stafford Borough Council about a controversial planning decision.

The authority approved an outline application by Air and Ground Aviation which will see parts for the world’s largest passenger craft, the Airbus A380 and the A400M, a military craft, stored and distributed from the village’s airfield.

Furious villagers who attended the meeting branded the decision a “disgrace” and now they want the council to explain it.

They say if they don’t get satisfaction they will refer the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Resident Jan Kelly has set up a Facebook page which has already received support.

She said: “The development is too large. Hopefully we can put information on the Facebook page and keep people in the loop and they will spread the word to their elderly neighbours.

"It’s no good just sitting inside your house muttering about this and not doing anything about it, waiting for someone to do it for you. It’s time the villagers took charge of their future and not the planners.”

Councillor Brendan McKeown, chairman of Hixon Parish Council, said: “We are calling for the council to investigate how this decision came to be because that’s the nub of any complaint to the Ombudsman -how precisely it was dealt with.”

The site was considered for plans for a business park recently but was ruled out in favour of one at Redhill.

Councillor McKeown said: “They referred specifically and categorically to Hixon airfield (in the previous application) and said it was not suitable for those categories of use.

"Then a month later it is suitable for those categories.”

A report to the council’s planning committee last month for the earlier application included submissions which said: “There is no clear indication that this land is capable of being delivered in the short-term.”

Council spokesman Will Conaghan said: “The application was decided through the normal democratic process.

We have not received any formal complaint about the

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