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Engine test bay will 'significantly' reduce noise that people hear from Cambridge Airport

By Ben Comber

State-of-the-art engine testing facility at Cambridge Airport. Impression by Blast Deflectors, Inc.
State-of-the-art engine testing facility at Cambridge Airport. Impression by Blast Deflectors, Inc.

It also means plans for over a thousand new homes on the east side of Cambridge can move forward.

Plans for a new engine testing bay at Cambridge Airport have been approved.

The test bay, called a ground run enclosure, is supposed to significantly reduce noise from aircraft engine testing.

The bay will be 20 metres tall and used while planes run their engines on the ground to test performance and systems.

This new testing bay will allow the occupation of the 1,300 new homes on the Wing development, which is currently being planned by Marshall on land north of Newmarket Road.

Richard Oakley, development director of Marshall Group Properties, said: “We are delighted that this new state-of-the-art facility has been approved, recognising the dual benefits of helping to reduce the impact of our business operations on our neighbours and enabling much needed housing to the east of Cambridge.

“We hope to start construction in the early part of 2018 with a view to making operational use of the facility by Spring 2019.”

The new enclosure will be able to accommodate the largest type of aircraft currently being maintained at the airport, including the Boeing 777 and 747 airliners and the Hercules C-130 military transporter.

The facility will replace the existing engine run-up-bay, which uses an earth mound next to Newmarket Road to absorb noise from engine testing.

Planning permission was granted for Wing last year with the requirement that engine testing at the existing run up bay must stop, before any of the new homes are occupied.

The relocation will also help to facilitate the delivery of up to 1,200 homes on land north of Cherry Hinton, a development which is subject to an emerging draft Supplementary Planning Document that has recently been out to public consultation.

Cllr Kevin Blencowe, Vice-Chair of the Joint Development Control Committee and the City Council’s Planning Portfolio holder, said: “The developer team have worked hard to design a state of the art enclosure that maximises noise reduction as far as possible.

“The delivery of much needed housing, including social housing, on the Wing and land north of Cherry Hinton developments, and the critical function of engine testing to the continued airport operation, are also important considerations that we have had to weigh up.”


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