Biggin Hill warned it needs to show how it plans to keep airport noise under control

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

Bromley council has agreed to take legal action against an airport if it exceeds 50,000 take-offs and landings in a year without completing a review of its noise action plan.

The authority has asked bosses at Biggin Hill Airport to provide a revised noise action plan to address residents’ complaints on flights into and out of the site.

The council said it did not expect the 50,000 flight figure to be exceeded in the foreseeable future.

Council officers said in a report that ‘substantive improvements’ were required to the airport’s operations to protect the well-being of residents.

Conservative councillor Christopher Marlow, portfolio holder for contract management, said at the meeting: “[The decision] is not something that we undertake lightly. It is the result of months of work and consideration and we are always under the obligation as a public body and under the lease to act as any reasonable local authority.”

The authority had previously agreed in February 2023 that council officers would work alongside the airport to develop a noise action plan to improve residents’ experiences under the flightpath.

Documents noted that an agreement had not been reached between the council and Biggin Hill Airport, but progress had been made on a review of the action plan and the airport had plans to adjust its actions to provide noise reduction benefits to residents.

Approach to Biggin Hill (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

The noise action plan for the airport is incorporated into the lease for the site and includes reviewing complaints and measures the airport would agree to in order to reduce noise disruption to residents.

Conservative councillor Tony Owen said at a meeting on March 25 that a resident contacted him this year to say they felt the airport had acted ‘in bad faith’ for years.

Conservative councillor Robert Evans added: “They have been consistently non-cooperative. We all want all businesses in the borough to succeed and to do well, but one thing that can’t be ignored in this respect is that the airport business can affect lots of residents as well.”

It was agreed at the meeting on March 25 and confirmed by the executive committee on March 27 that representatives from Biggin Hill Airport would be invited to address the council.

Council officers were asked to provide an action plan to the council on alternative options if an agreement could not be reached with the airport by June.

Biggin Hill Airport Limited has been approached for comment.

Picture: The passenger terminal at Biggin Hill (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/David Anstiss)


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