Say No to Skydiving

 “SAY NO!” TO SKYDIVING at Redlands Airfield, Swindon

Before you jump - THINK!

Do you want to make money for a Charity? Does a Parachute Jump, Skydiving appeal? 

Have you thought about the harm that you are doing to the environment?

Have you thought about the suffering, mental distress, and nuisance the noise from skydiving planes cause?

If you want to be environmentally and socially responsible don’t jump from sites which are known to be harming other people.

All across the U.K. there are airfields hosting skydiving businesses which are causing a nuisance to local people.

If you want to raise money for charity this is a worthy thing to do but NOT at our expense, as we value our health and peace and quiet.

Our campaign was formed because hundreds, if not thousands of residents in an area of about 15 miles around Swindon have suffered intolerable noise and intrusion into our lives by a few people whose sport and greed takes no account of the suffering it causes.

Say No to Skydiving (formerly “Stop the Swindon Plane Campaign”) has been actively protesting about the noise from skydiving operations in North Wiltshire since 2000.

Residents and businesses over a large area of North Wiltshire have been subjected to intolerable noise and loss of amenity from skydiving businesses based at Redlands Farm Airfield, Stratton Road, Wanborough, Swindon, SN4 0AA

People in Wanborough, Liden, Dorcan, Nythe, Stratton, Chiseldon, Aldbourne, Ogbourne-St.George, Ogbourne-St.Andrew, Marlborough Savernake and elsewhere have been subjected to aviation noise from the skydiving planes from Redlands.

Currently Skydive London operates a business at this airfield. The London Parachute School and Skydive Swindon used to be based here.

This site will name and shame those running and using this airfield for skydiving.  

Skydiving here ruins our lives.

Just because an activity has planning permission does not necessarily make the planning permission legal or socially acceptable.

Over the years we have had legal opinions from several large firms of solicitors and a barristers opinion. Swindon Borough Council ignored the submissions of our lawyers and we believe the Council and the owners of the site to have breached U.K. and E.C. law. We have asked Swindon Borough Council to take action to rectify the legal position but they have refused our request and the Borough Lawyer admitted in a F.O.I. request that he had not obtained a expert legal advice, or a second opinion from solicitors or barristers working outside of the Council for the current planning permission for aviation at Redlands Farm Airfield.

Only in 2011, eleven years after a skydiving plane first flew at Redlands, and only after the skydiving plane crashed in November 2010, did the C.A.A deem it appropriate to visit the airfield before deciding whether to renew the C.A.A. licence for parachuting which enables Skydive London to operate on a yearly licence which expires on March 31st every year. Previously they had only considered submissions from the operators and the British Parachute association to be necessary.

Complaints to the B.P.A. about flying in cloud cover or past sunset have been forwarded by them to the jump instructor etc. of Skydive London, who have then dismissed such complaints even though several witnesses have confirmed concerns about flying and jumping at certain times. We believe it unlikely that the operators would admit to any breaches of rules etc. and feel that self-investigation is neither impartial nor democratic.

The Problem

Imagine a noise almost like a small jet plane taking off at over 90db and then circling overhead for 12 hours at a time.

Imagine being exposed to this sound which is above local environmental noise for hours and hours.

Imagine this plane flying over your garden or the roof of your house or nearby at only couple of hundred feet, or even less. 

Imagine this plane flying Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and sometimes Mondays from 9 or 10 a.m. until half an hour after sunset and not being able to enjoy your own home or work from home or in your office.

Imagine hearing the plane roar overhead on take-off over the A419 and coming towards you in Swindon, Wanborough, Liden, Nythe, Dorcan, places where you never, ever expected to be near an airfield.

That’s what some of us have to put up with every weekend and more.

Imagine a decibel level high enough to damage hearing

Imagine infrasound and ultrasound penetrating the walls of your house or office with no escape for hours at a time.

Imagine the damage to health caused by noise, infrasound and ultrasound - stress, mental illness, cardiac disease, loss of sleep and more....... 

Imagine buying a rural house, or a terraced house in a suburb and suddenly finding that the local council had imposed an airfield upon you without adequate consultation, assessments or external advice from experts about the suitability of the location for an airfield.

Imagine finding out that the Council won’t do anything about it, and that the only way to stop the nuisance is a planning discontinuance issued by the local council.

Imagine finding out that one cannot sue for aviation noise nuisance within the U.K. due to antiquated legislation to protect aviation.

Imagine vibrations felt within your own house, imagine not being able to enjoy your garden, or conservatory, or work form home, or night-workers being unable to sleep during the day, imagine no respite from the noise for hours and hours with a take -off every twenty minutes.

Imagine how you would feel if you could not enjoy the privacy of your garden with skydivers floating low overhead being able to see your property below?

Imagine what it is like to hear whoops and shouts and vile language and swearing as the skydivers fall to earth.

Imagine being startled by the sudden ripping of a parachute as it is opened overhead

Imagine hoping for, and praying for, rain or wind every weekend so that there is no flying?

Imagine watching someone land dangerously outside of the drop zone, on private land or a park such as Eldene in central Swindon narrowly missing trees and/or houses or seeing skydivers injured.

Imagine hearing the wail of the two emergency services rushing to an accident and hearing the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Helicopter overhead flying to help someone who has been injured.

Think of the cost to the public purse of all three emergency services rushing to an accident - yes, it has happened several times....

Imagine what it is like to hear the skydiving plane’s engine cut out and discover that the plane has crashed....(see story below)

If you wish to know more, have your own campaign against skydiving in your area, or can offer help, advice and support please e-mail us at

skycampaign@googlemail.com  

The planning history of this airfield, the skydiving planning permission and the microlight training permission will shortly be available on this website.

 It is an extraordinary story of Council failure and a Chief Executive (in at least once incidence that we have discovered) acting outside of his legal authority. 

The owner of the site, Joe Smith, a Parish Councillor, spoke on his own behalf at the Parish Council meetings where his planning applications were considered. The Standards Board found that he and the Parish Council had broken the rules governing conduct and ordered all the Parish Councillors to be retrained and all nearby Parish Councils to be notified of this decision.

The Local Government Ombudsman found Swindon Borough Council guilty of minor maladministration in that it did not examine flying logs before granting permission for skydiving. Due to foot and mouth there had been no flying at Redlands and the temporary permission period was cut short early at the request of the landowner before anyone had a chance to object.  No flying from the airfield meant that we heard no noise and thus none of us knew that skydiving was taking place! The planning officer only listened to a simulated take off that took place on the ground, not in the air!

Even when flying started in 2001 using a Russian Antinov A 2 bi-plane this could not have been legal as the plane was not certified by the CAA for commercial aviation use in the UK! 

Planning permission for building change of use use has been mostly through “retrospective use” and hedgerows and trees were cut down and a pond filled in to create a runway without the owner consulting the council or applying for permission to do so. This act, in particular, by someone who is a Parish Councillor, angered and upset many local people.

The Council has “lost” the original planning file T98/0298 which is referred to in the present planning permission and which contained the planning documents, plans etc. and planning history.

NEWS - REDLANDS SKYDIVING PLANE CRASHES!

AT REDLANDS AIRFIELD ON THE 27TH NOVEMBER 2010 THE SKYDIVING PLANE G-VANA (A GIPPSLAND G8 AIRVAN) TOOK OFF JUST AFTER 10 A.M. ON A FREEZING COLD DAY (-6 TO -10 c) AND CRASHED! NINE PEOPLE WERE ON BOARD AND THE PILOT WAS BADLY HURT. THE PLANE UNDERCARRIAGE WAS BADLY DAMAGED.

DID THIS STOP SKYDIVE LONDON FROM SKYDIVING?

NO!

AFTER A THREE MONTH GAP A PLANE IS NOW FLYING AGAIN EVEN BEFORE THE OFFICIAL REPORT INTO THE CAUSE OF THE CRASH HAS BEEN CONCLUDED AND RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC.

IN 2010 CAMPAIGNERS WARNED THE C.A.A SAFETY UNIT AT GATWICK THAT DUE TO LOW FLYING A CRASH AT THIS AIRFIELD WAS INEVITABLE.

NO ONE TOOK ANY NOTICE.

THE PLANE CRASHED.

SKYDIVING BEGAN AGAIN IN MARCH 2011. MANY CHARITY JUMPS CONTINUE TO TAKE PLACE.

Copyright, The Say No to Skydiving Group, 2011

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