Sir James Dyson has withdrawn plans for a private runway for his jets at his company airfield in Hullavington, near Chippenham just weeks after announcing he was pulling out of developing an electric car.
But in October he promised the people of north Wiltshire that the company’s Hullavington base still had a bright future
The campus at Hullavington Airfield has had more than £200m invested into it since Dyson decided to base its automotive division there in 2017. Now the firm has assured locals the land and its workers will remain part of the Dyson empire.
A spokesperson said: Hullavington will still be a hub for research and development. Our £200m investment into the site in the past years shows our commitment to our state of the art site which is the perfect location for us to supercharge our Home projects next year.
“It’s a very exciting space for us to continue our work.”
But now the billionaire inventor has withdrawn plans for a new runway lighting and a new hangar.
Parish councils had backed his expansion plans in Hullavington but a number of people living near the site had written to Wiltshire Council to complain about possible noise and pollution.
Some locals claimed the development would ‘ruin the character of the village’ and a ‘severe impact on the quality of life of the residents’.
The airfield was first used by Sir James in 2017 but was only for gliders.
Had the plans been given the green light, the airfield would have been allowed to have 60 jets and 300 land every year.
Jeffery Holly, who moved to nearby Stainton St Quintin nine years ago, had objected to the proposals.
He said: ‘We purchased our house in Stanton St Quintin in 2010 due to the fact it was in an unspoilt rural location. Our objection to this planning application has numerous facets. Firstly having an active runway will change the character of the village.
“Previously there have only been intermittent gliders using the runway, causing no pollution or noise.
“The application, if granted, would lead to a severe impact on the quality of life of the residents of Stanton St Quintin.
“An active runway will lead to vastly increased noise levels, potentially dangerous extra traffic in country lanes and a deterioration in air quality representing an unacceptable environmental impact.
“There has been absolutely no consultation with affected villagers to explain how this intolerable environmental application is justified or the risks mitigated.”
Resident David Haines added: “I strongly object to this planning application because of the implications of light pollution, noise pollution and air pollution from incoming and outgoing aircraft.
“The noise from helicopters and jets will certainly increase in volume from present levels.
“The airfield has never been used for commercial aircraft and despite the figures stated once the application is granted the air traffic could increase to much higher levels.”
Sir James said last year: “After 25 years of UK growth, and continuing expansion globally, we are fast outgrowing our Malmesbury Campus.
“The 517-acre Hullavington Campus is an investment for our future, creating a global hub for our research and development endeavours.
“It will enable us to continue creating world-class products and jobs right here in the Cotswolds.’
John Chadwick, representative for planning agents Weybourne Limited, confirmed the withdrawal of the aerodrome plans.