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Hambleton council rapped over Bagby Airfield use
A COUNCIL has been accused of an “extreme failure of planning administration” by losing control of the use of land near Thirsk as an airfield.
The Local Government Ombudsman said Bagby Airfield had been operating in contravention of planning permission for several years, with Hambleton District Council missing opportunities to take action.
As a result, the unauthorised use became immune from enforcement action, said the Ombudsman Anne Seex.
“Losing planning control over the use of land as an airfield is an extreme and most serious failure of planning administration,” she said.
She recommended the council should consider taking action to try to stop the current use and provide funding of up to £5,000 each to the villages Bagby and Thirkleby for ‘projects of community benefit,’ agreed with the respective parish councils.
She said planning permission was granted to the airfield in 1980, limited to a named person and to 40 take-offs and 40 landings a week.
“The named person left the airfield in 1997 but flights continued,” she said.
“The airfield had operated in contravention of that permission. “The council never monitored the number of take-offs and landings, although Government guidance says that planning conditions should be enforceable.”
The Ombudsman found there was maladministration causing injustice, and said the council now had to consider the report and say what action it proposed to take.
A council spokeswoman said councillors would consider the report at their cabinet meeting on June 14 before making a formal response.