Please submit comments by 17th December:


Please make a comment on Farnborough Airport Expansion

Farnborough Airport owners are seeking to increase the annual number of flights from 50,000 to 70,000 a year – including a jump in weekend traffic from 8,900 to 18,900. As Bentley is on the main take-off flight path and aircraft are still often below 4000ft when passing over the village this move will have a huge impact on the peace and tranquillity we currently enjoy.

Farnborough Airport Ltd. have made a planning application to Rushmoor Borough Council (Planning Application, 23/00794/REVPP) to make these changes to their operations. During the public consultation, ending on Sunday 17th December, you can make a comment on the application through the link below.

Here are the main points that you may want to consider in making your comment. Each point is tied to a planning policy against which the application will be assessed:

Local Plan Policy SP4 relates to any changes to the pattern, nature and number of business aviation movements at Farnborough Airport. The submission fails to demonstrate the policy is met for the following reasons:

  • The applicant justifies the proposed expansion on the basis of growth of business aviation and the increasing displacement of business aviation activity from the main London airports. The justification presented is speculative without robust evidence.
  • There is a requirement that the aircraft noise impact is less than the agreed baseline noise level and that there is no net increase in the extent of any annual third-party risk. The applicant accepts that there would be an increase in air and ground noise as a result of the proposals. Although the applicant will provide sound insulation to residents in the Farnborough area this does not extend to Bentley. Moreover, residents’ outdoor amenity space will be affected regardless.
  • The proposals would give rise to an increased level of pollution, and it has not been adequately demonstrated that the levels could be considered acceptable. Nor has it been satisfactorily demonstrated that any adverse impacts of pollution will be adequately mitigated or minimised to an acceptable level.
  • The applicant has not presented a robust case to demonstrate that economic benefits to the local and wider economy would be brought about by the current proposals.
  • Policy requires that any proposal ensures that flying at the most sensitive times of the day and week is limited to respect the amenities of residents in and adjoining Rushmoor Borough. Clearly the substantial increase in weekend flights conflicts with this aim.

Local Plan Policy NE4 Biodiversity

  • The proposals, with no overriding public need, would result in an adverse effect on biodiversity that should be safeguarded.


Local Plan Policy DE10 Pollution

  • The Rushmoor Borough Council Local Plan recognises the UK’s energy reduction targets and has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The proposal is in direct odds with the pledges set out within this document.
  • There is a significant conflict with Rushmoor Borough Council’s own Climate Change Action Plan 2023-2026, where one of its key themes is “B. Reducing Climate Change Impacts (Mitigation)”.

Policy NE5 Countryside


  • National Parks such as the South Downs National Park (SDNP) have statutory protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty. The application does not recognise the existence of the SDNP and that it will be further impacted by emissions, noise and pollution.


SDNP Local Plan: The proposals do not accord with the South Downs Local Plan, Core Policy SD1 (Sustainable Development), Core Policy SD2 (Ecosystems Services), Strategic Policy SD4 (landscape character) and Policy SD8 (Dark Night Skies).


National Planning Policy Framework: The proposals do not accord with the following paragraphs of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)


  • Paragraph 8: The proposal fails to provide evidence of social and economic benefits to the environmental and sustainable development objectives of this paragraph.


  • Paragraph 152 states that the planning system should support the transition to a low carbon future in a changing climate.


  • Paragraph 174 requires that planning decisions should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by protecting and enhancing valued landscapes and sites of biodiversity value, recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside, minimising impacts on and providing net gains for biodiversity and addressing unacceptable levels of pollution.


  • Paragraph 176 requires that great weight should be given to conserving and enhancing landscape and scenic beauty in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


  • Paragraph 180 provides principles for dealing with habitats sites and seeks a restrictive approach to development which would have an adverse effect.


  • Paragraph 185 which requires that decisions are made to mitigate and reduce, to a minimum, the potential adverse impact of noise from a new development and to avoid noise giving rise to a significant adverse impact on health and the quality of life. CAA is aware of the public health impact of aircraft noise, reporting effects on its website. In the case of Farnborough Airport it appears to ignore this evidence.


  • Paragraph 186 states that planning decisions should sustain and contribute towards compliance with relevant limit values or national objectives for pollutants, taking into account the presence of Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) and Clean Air Zones, and the cumulative impacts from individual sites in local areas.


Please use these notes as a guide to your own comments and please reference the respective policy.

The Rushmoor Planning Portal for this application can be reached through the link below (similar in style to the EHDC Planning Portal)