BHAL wants to amend the Permitted User Clause

BHAL has made another application to the Council to change the Permitted User Clause in their Lease

  • Biggin Hill Airport Ltd has submitted another application to change the Permitted User Clause.
  • This will be considered by Bromley Council on Wednesday 23rd November (at the ERCPDS Committee) and then on Wednesday 30th November (at the Executive Committee).
  • The Council did not make the public aware of this until the very last moment and no papers have been published so we do not know the wording of the application.  If similar to previous applications, it will request that the restriction on fare-paying passengers should be relaxed.
  • Any change to the Lease opens the door to reducing the protection the Lease offers residents.
  • The deadline for questions from the general public had already passed when the agenda papers were published, but without the details, it is impossible to ask specific questions.
  • Flightpath Watch will not have the time to conduct a new campaign against this new move by BHAL, and certainly not by the date of the Scrutiny committee on 23rd.   However, although we are all fatigued by this continuously insensitive and overbearing neighbour, it is important that we are not taken for granted.
  • Residents are asked to email their objections to ANY change to the wording of the Permitted User Clause to Cllr Christopher Marlow and Cllr Simon Fawthrop, copying their Ward Councillors, the Leader of the Council and the Airport Monitoring Officer (email addresses are given at the end of this newsletter).
  • Time is so short, so a short message will be helpful.  We suggest:

For residents unfamiliar with why it is important to prevent any change to this clause of the Lease, the following may be helpful.

Since the Lease was signed, BHAL has continued to submit requests for this clause to be amended so that the airport is allowed to accommodate fare-paying passengers.  In fact, rejecting an amendment to this clause was the main reason for the Council taking BHAL’s application to the High Court in 2000, where the judgement was that the Lease should not be changed. The latest application to Bromley Council from BHAL was, fortunately, rejected again in May 2021. There had been several previous attempts, none of which had been upheld by the Council.

If the Council approves this application, even more large planes will be attracted to Biggin Hill, increasingly impacting on our homes, our environment and quality of life.  The volume of flights during the summer of 2022 has already shown us what the consequence has been of concessions to Biggin Hill Airport.  Further concessions could only make the situation much worse.

Although obliged to consider any application by its tenant, we believe that, on this occasion, we can trust the Council to act reasonably and intelligently.  Why should it seriously consider any new concession to BHAL when BHAL has not yet kept its word in connection to mitigations it promised when the new operating hours were granted?

Nevertheless, we are aware that the Biggin Hill Airport Consultative Committee (BHACC), clearly not familiar with the history and significance of this clause, have supported the application, and that may pose a problem.  We need to be wary of the BHACC because it is not a neutral, well-informed body (in fact, its set-up does not conform with government guidelines) and can cause considerable damage to residents.

Our lives are already so badly affected by the planes that use Biggin Hill Airport.  Please tell your Councillors how you feel about this and please encourage your neighbours and friends to write too.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support.