Row over plans to build school near RAF Lakenheath


RAF Lakenheath

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RAF Lakenheath is home to the US Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing

A dispute over plans to build a school under the flight path of RAF jets in Suffolk is to go the High Court.

Suffolk County Council approved plans for a 420-place primary school to meet demand from new housing close to the RAF airbase at Lakenheath.

However, parish councillors are challenging the move, claiming noise levels would exceed World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

A county council spokesman described the challenge as “misconceived”.

RAF Lakenheath is home to the US Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing.

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The Suffolk base has more than 8,000 US and British military and civilian personnel

Planning permission for the school off Station Road was granted by the county council’s development and regulation committee in October after the green light was given for 660 new homes, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

But councillor Hermione Brown, chairman of Lakenheath Parish Council’s planning sub-committee, said the school “should be appropriately situated, well away from the jet flight path with all its noise and safety implications”.

“Above all we want to protect the children of our community, which is why we have so strongly resisted the inappropriate siting of a proposed school on land directly under a military jet flight path,” she said.

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The school is planned for land off Station Road, Lakenheath, which the parish council argues is directly in the airbase flight path

A spokesman from Suffolk County Council said: “The new school has been designed to be suitable for use in Lakenheath, taking into account site specific concerns including noise.

“The proposed location is shown by official figures to be in the quietest part of the village.”



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