King’s Cliffe planning application gets approval.

Earlier this year, we highlighted the planning application put forward by Philip Ashton-Jones the current land owner of Jack’s Green on the former RAF King’s Cliffe airfield, in Northampton.

An online petition raised over 300 objections to the application. These came  from: supporters of Glenn Miller, aviation enthusiasts, wildlife groups and local people alike, who all highlighted concerns over the proposed development of the site and the impact it may have. At an initial meeting in September this year, the council failed to come to any overall decision as they needed to consider further reports from interested parties.  At a second meeting held on Wednesday 14th October,  after considering all the issues raised, East Northamptonshire Council approved the plans and so 55 holiday homes will now be built on Jack’s Green.

Whilst concerns were raised over the memorial that currently stands on the actual base of the hangar where Glenn Miller performed his last hangar concert, the land owner Philip Ashton-Jones, stated at the meeting that the memorial would remain “exactly as it is today”.

Glenn Miller Memorial RAF Kings Cliffe Dec 2014

The Memorial to Glenn Miller taken in December 2014. Jack’s Green is the area behind.

RAF King’s Cliffe is a large site, which is now primarily agriculture. It still contains a few buildings from the Second World War and a large memorial to those who served here during this time. Jack’s Green, is part of the larger woodland used by walkers, horse riders and nature lovers.

East Northampton’s decision is in line with many decisions being made by local authorities. Land is at a premium, and whilst this is not essential housing by any stretch, it is not a surprising decision in today’s climate.

Let’s hope Mr Ashton-Jones keeps to his word and this historical place is protected.

Links

The BBC report can be accessed here. (This may only be available for a limited time.)

RAF King’s Cliffe was visited in Trail 6

Previous reports can be found here.

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10 thoughts on “King’s Cliffe planning application gets approval.

  1. Hello,
    This is actually the best thing that could happen for the memorial. Apologies for not getting information out earlier but we were not contacted by anyone until the first night of the two committee meetings. I rather hope that now I have met Kevin Flecknor (that is how he does spell his name) on both occasions that you will, through him, be able to hear a different side. The monument was erected by the previous owners, KSR, 30 or so years ago and does indeed need cheering up.
    There are wider issues as to the natural environment that need attention too which is a big part of needing to find a good means of funding reparations, and making the best of the land to be accessible. I would be happy to meet with anyone who would like to come over and hear about our plans.
    I enjoy hearing forthright views, as it will allow us to show that we have the credentials to do the right thing for the monument and the area generally. I will get the ball rolling by letting you know we have stored military historical aircraft parts free and gratis for the last 6 years – if we meet, ask me to prove it.
    I look forward to hearing from and meeting any folk who would like some answers.

    Apologies Aviationtrails if this is not posted in the correct place, I am new to your site.

    Philip Ashton-Jones
    Rockingham Forest Park Limited

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on this issue, it is good that both sides have an opportunity to air their views and points. The memorial certainly is in a poor state and in definite need of cleaning and repair. Any work that addresses this must surely be a positive thing. The concern from aviation ‘enthusiasts’ is that the site, which is of a significant historical interest, is not disregarded and the memory of those who served and died (from) here, including Glenn Miller, are not forgotten. Whilst it is appreciated that land for housing is of a premium and that as head of the project, your desire to establish a holiday park on the site is your right; we would hope that it is not to the detriment of the wider site or the memorial in particular. Reassurances that holiday traffic, construction work and damage from visitors will not lead to the loss of the memorial are the primary aim for most. Further more, a proviso that the memorial will be both looked after and protected and that open access is retained, would certainly alleviate the concerns of many. Jacks Green is a beautiful area and home to a great many species of wildlife as highlighted by the various letters opposing the plans. Whilst all these are of concern, the historical aspect is certainly one that we would like to see addressed. Thank you again for taking the time to comment, it would certainly be a pleasure to hear and see more of what you intend for this wonderful site. Andy Laing (editor Aviationtrails)

      Like

      • Hello Andy,
        Our planning system does not really give much of an opportunity to talk to local folk directly, but we have taken four local parish councils around, attended meetings, and given explanations to the objections we have received. We have undertaken a lot of investigation into environmental issues, as you would expect. You can rest assured this is taken into full consideration, as the goal is to allow access to the countryside for short breaks. The memorial is great bonus, and we hope Kevin can lend us a hand with information boards and the like. As it currently stands the Planning Department recommended the proposal for approval and this was discussed twice and was unanimously recommended for approval by the full committee of the council. The monument was discussed, and as hopefully you will pick up from what I have written so far, I am keen to make sure it is looking its best.

        If anyone would like to come and see us, I am happy to delve into the detail at Kings Cliffe over a up tea, our estate manager has been on this site since the middle of the 1970s and his brother has written an historical book. You would rightly hope us to be sympathetic. I strongly hope we are all, in fact, of one mind. If anyone would like to organise a visit, can I visibly leave my email address here?

        I am not expecting too much upheaval here at all. Lodges are not houses, and will be brought on site rather than built from scratch. All the banging and crashing will take place elsewhere. However bear in mind the site and the memorial are about 3/4 of a mile from the nearest neighbour, and holiday lettings by their nature will effectively stagger journeys.

        Philip

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Philip,
        I appreciate you have clearly undertaken a considerable amount of investigations into this project and it is good that you have taken a sympathetic approach, I sincerely trust this is so. I have been in contact with Kevin, he and I are good friends already, and we are hoping to come across shortly to see the area again and talk with you. He will be in contact to arrange this.

        Please feel free to leave any contact details here, I can publish them linked to social network sites if that is ok, Twitter and Facebook are linked directly to this site.

        I shall make arrangements with Kevin and look forward to
        Meeting with you in the very near future.
        Kindest regards and thank you again for providing me with further details.
        Andy

        Like

  2. Let’s hope that some consideration is paid to the undoubted historical value of the site. The sad thing is, that looking at the state of the monument, the builders can justifiably claim that nobody is that bothered!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is one of the concerns I have John . The memorial is actually off the beaten track and not many people know about it. I suspect that had this planning application not come to light, the memorial would have been ‘lost’ for all time. I have a friend who is in contact with the land owner about its condition but I suspect though, that looking after it is not one of his top priorities.

      Like

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