Residents are being forced to endure significant noise and light pollution caused by the new radar system. The character of our 1930s streets has also been severely impacted by the huge steel-frame structure and its constantly rotating radar head. Although Marshall considered several alternative sites for the installation they decided in the end to build it beside our homes without consultation or an environmental impact assessment. The company also failed to provide accurate information to householders and to the City Council.
At twelve storeys high, the new radar looms over our residential streets, spoiling our urban environment, and reducing our quality of life.
The radar emits a pulsating hum twenty-four hours a day. The continuous sound is loud enough to be heard inside our homes. This persistent and invasive noise prevents us from sleeping at night and distracts us from work during the day. Since many residents are working from home during the pandemic, the noise impact is adding greatly to our stress levels and negatively impacting our mental health at what is already a difficult and challenging time.
The rotating radar head produces severe shadow flickering when the sun is behind it. The repetitive flicker oscillates over the exterior of our houses, passing through windows and doors and creating the same invasive shadow effects inside our homes.
The radar head also reflects light, producing stroboscopic light effects inside our houses on sunny days. This effect leaves residents feeling like they are living next to a lighthouse.
Airport Director, Kevan Craske, wrote to householders in September 2019 informing them of the airport’s intention to install a new state-of-the-art radar system. Residents were told that the installation ‘falls under full permitted development rights' and did not require planning permission. However, Mr Craske said that he was writing to residents ‘out of courtesy’ because the equipment ‘may be visible from areas surrounding the airport’. He did not let residents know the dimensions of the proposed structure and did not supply scaled drawings. The only supporting document Marshall provided was an out-of-date and inaccurate site map.
Apart from the possibility that the structure would be visible, Mr Craske said that he was writing to ‘reassure [residents] that we don’t expect you to experience any further effects or changes as a result of this installation’.
Marshall and its partners, Endurance Estates, are planning a new housing scheme on land north of Cherry Hinton, close to the location of the existing airport radar. 1200 new homes are proposed for the site. A Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) from 2018 makes clear the need to relocate the radar if the proposed development is to go ahead.
'The radar in its current position would limit building heights and compromise the capacity of the site to deliver housing and other uses. The radar will need to be relocated to allow the development to proceed'.
(Land North of Cherry Hinton SPD, p. 40, 3.71, emphasis added)
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