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Thursday, 24 Jun 2021

New grass airfield for Kent?

A proposal for a new grass airfield in Kent has found opposition by some local residents organized in a group called ‘Chocks Go Away’. Intended to be built on land owned by local farmer Richard Ledger at Little Mongeham near Deal in Kent, the proposal has enjoyed considerable support from local pilots, some of whom were displaced when Maypole Airfield closed last year. The proposed farm strip would consist of a 750-metre grass runway, with hangarage for up to twenty light aircraft and charging facilities for electric aeroplanes, cars and e-bikes. Bicycles would be provided free to borrow for visiting pilots, and ‘glamping pods’ and e-bikes would be available to rent on the same farm. A helipad for use by the emergency services would also be incorporated.
 
Despite application of “the greenest credentials that can be achieved in the airfield’s creation” a few locals have been vociferous in their opposition. Consequently, the team behind the ‘Little Mongeham Airfield’ project has been informed by Dover District Council that more information was required to validate the application.
 
Interestingly, although the airfield proposal does not involve any use of the land for farming, the opening page of the ‘Chocks Go Away’ website shows a picture of an oil seed rape field.
 
Commenting on the proposal and the opposition it has found, a supporter of the airfield project pointed out the dichotomy in using a photo of an oil seed rape crop, observing that “modern farming is quite industrialised – and if you think that a field of wheat or barley is teeming with life you’re very wrong. Most are depressingly sterile monocultures, being entirely bereft of any sort of life, flora and fauna, apart from the actual crop. In fact, there’s a very good reason why wildlife thrives on airfields: the absence of chemicals, both pesticides and fertilisers”.  
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Fri 25 Jun
Bob DARBY Great idea. Maypole was such a good airfield - something is needed to replace it in east Kent.
Fri 25 Jun
Peter Day Given the opposition for a new airfield, it is essential to keep the existing ones. My approach of introducing hangar homes and mixed-use (commercial+residential) hangars to GA airfields helps to safeguard them and make them more sustainable.
Fri 25 Jun
Patrick Musters VG idea. Has my full backing, esp after loss of Maypole.Sustainable and more environmentally friendly than a sterile crop field.Flora and fauna thrives much more on a grass strip.Additionally would provide valuable safety field for Xchannell GA.
Fri 25 Jun
Ian Ratcliffe I wish the team trying to get this strip up and running the very best of luck ,but with the anti movement it will be like shovelling Sh'@#T up hill
Fri 25 Jun
Kev Garton I'm backing this one. With the amount of airfields being built on its a breath of fresh air to see this happen. I loom forward to visiting.
Fri 25 Jun
Kim Kynaston It would be So good to have a new airfield for the national infrastructure especially given the number closed for housing development. Would Chocks Go Away prefer a new town being built on the farmland instead? Just be and let aviators be.
Sat 26 Jun
Roger Brookhouse Sat 26 June 2021 Mongeham airfiled much needed. Manston closed to light aircrfat some years ago, also Biggin Hill. Lydd unsuitable, Maypole also been closed, Headcorn completely full. Waldershare gliders only without planning changes. Roger Brookhouse.
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