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Welcome for Norwich plane engine testing updates

PUBLISHED: 12:15 11 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:36 02 July 2010

Onno Pietersma, MD of KLM UK Engineering Ltd.

Onno Pietersma, MD of KLM UK Engineering Ltd.

David Bale

Families living north of Norwich today welcomed news that the main user of an airport engine testing facility is now publishing approximate test times and durations on its website - but still called for the noise to be reduced.

Gill and Peter Cook on their farm near to the testing facility.

Families living north of Norwich today welcomed news that the main user of an airport engine testing facility is now publishing approximate test times and durations on its website - but still called for the noise to be reduced.

As reported, controversial plans to relocate an engine testing facility at Norwich International airport were deferred last month after councillors said they wanted to hear the noise for themselves.

For five years testing has been taking place at an unauthorised location at the north of the airport's disused second runway, but Norwich City Council has ordered the airport to cease testing there.

The airport authorities have applied for permission to relocate the existing testing facility from its approved location on the eastern apron to the former fire training site in the north-eastern part of the airport.

Peter Mahoney, finance director for KLM UK Engineering Limited, the main user of the facility, said today: “We now publish engine testing information on our website, www.klmukengineering.com. This can be accessed from the scrolling news on the home page.

“The nature of our business means that we can not predict all events or the exact time of each occurrence but we will endeavour to deliver information as accurately as possible.

“Generally the information becomes more accurate the closer we get to the engine test. Hopefully this will provide local residents with a good indication of when engine tests are likely to occur and the duration of each test.”

Families living near where the facility could be relocated previously told of their fears that the noise would not only shatter their peace and tranquillity but also threaten livelihoods.

But Gill Cook, who owns Quaker Farm in Quaker Lane, Spixworth and the holiday cottages on the farm, which is just 500 metres from the proposed engine testing facility site, today welcomed the news.

She said: “That's useful. But what's particularly irritating is that there's an awful lot happening on Sundays, which can be a problem if you get mates around for a barbecue. It's good news, but we still would like some respite at peak family leisure times.”

However, Valerie McNally, of Horsham St Faith, who also objected to the planning application, was less enthusiastic.

She said: “I'm not interested when the testing takes place, I just don't want it to be noisy. I want them to invest more in noise mitigation measures.”

Is too much noise making your life a misery? Ring reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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