Lyneham plans approved despite noise fears
6:00pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in Latest News
Plans for a £230m defence college of technical training at the former RAF Lyneham airbase have been given the go-ahead and building work will begin early next year.
The plans, expected to create 1,700 jobs at the site, have been granted permission despite concerns from nearby residents over an increase in noise and traffic.
The MoD must submit an operational noise management plan for approval to Wiltshire Council before the site can be used, and abide by a long string of planning conditions.
These include timing restrictions on the use of the firing range and an area where students will brake test armoured vehicles, as well as a restriction on aircraft to operate no more than three days a week.
Wiltshire councillor for Lyneham, Alison Bucknell, said she was relieved to see the application go through.
She said: “The planning conditions will satisfy people to an extent, but they won’t satisfy people who wanted no noise at all. The key thing is to make sure the noise management plan is robust and achievable.
“While the construction is happening there will be heavy goods vehicles going through the village, there’s no alternative.”
Students at the site will receive training for electronic and mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering or communication and information systems.
Building work will be carried out in two stages. Tranche one will take up 150,000 sqm and tranche two another 150,000 sqm.
Earlier this year a contract notice was published naming three firms who were shortlisted to take on full responsibility for the project – Skanska, Balfour Beatty and Keir, and Babcock Interna-tional and Lendlease. One has been chosen but has not been named yet.
Hilmarton parish councillor Jeff Files was an aircraft technician at RAF Lyneham until it closed and now works at Brize Norton on Hercules.
He said: “I think it’s a positive move and I’m glad that it’s going to be used and remain active. The noise that was being generated when RAF Lyneham used to be active was far exceeding what they’re going to have now.”
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