Marshall Aerospace propose relocation to Cranfield Airport

C-130 Hercules transport aircraft coming in to land
C-130 Hercules transport aircraft

Marshall Aerospace wants your opinions on its proposal to relocate from Cambridge to Cranfield Airport.

And it says the move could create up to 1,200 jobs at Cranfield with a ‘diverse mix of career opportunities’ – and benefit the local economy to the tune of £200m a year.

Marshall Aerospace specialises in the routine maintenance, repair, overhaul, and conversion of military aircraft, predominantly the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

The company short-listed three options for its move: Cranfield, Duxford and RAF Wyton.

It said Cranfield represents a “very good option” for the relocation, adding that the site is deliverable against all of the requirements, and there is established planning permission for the Air Park.

Cranfield Church of England Academy (St Paul Site) is quite close to the runway. The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked what are the health implications of C-130s taking off and landing so close to the school.

The spokesperson said: “Impacts of emissions from aircraft landing, taxiing and taking-off are not expected to have significant impacts on local air quality.

“The basis for this is that the number of movements is expected to be relatively low (1,500 per year at a maximum).

“This represents an approximate increase of 5% when compared with current levels at Cranfield Airport of approximately 30,000 movements per year albeit a different mix of aircraft.

“However, the nearest schools are more than 500 metres from the runway over which emissions from aircraft are expected to disperse into the atmosphere to the extent that changes in local air quality at the schools is most likely to be negligible.

“The Environmental Statement will include an assessment of air quality, including at the nearby schools.”

The current information provided by the company does not include noise.

The spokesperson said: “We decided to consult at an early stage of our process to make local people aware of Marshall Aerospace’s intention to bring forward a planning application for Cranfield Airport and allow adequate opportunity for local people to talk to us about the proposals.

“This means that we have not yet completed all of our technical assessments, including for noise.

“However, we have committed to providing more information on assessed noise impacts, ranges, levels and proposed mitigations ahead of submitting our planning application later this year.”

The spokesperson said that last year it received six C-130 related noise complaints at Cambridge Airport.

They added that at this early stage in the process the company is not in a position to confirm flight path specifics or circuit numbers.

The company said that Milton Keynes, Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils are aware of the proposals as they are “important stakeholders” for this relocation project.

Its publicity material said it has begun working with parish councils in the area to inform its initial design work and approach to development.

The next key stage for the project is to seek outline planning permission from Central Bedfordshire Council prior to making a final commitment to move.

The proposals and the comment form can be viewed here. Comments can be submitted until 5pm on 8 April.

By John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter

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