Specialists called in to review Marshall radar under scrutiny
Marshall is making progress with its review of the controversial radar sited at its airport off Newmarket Road.
The 32m radar mast went up in November – allegedly without proper notification – and has caused consternation among residents at The Homing, The Westering, Sunnyside, Mansfield Way and Peverel Road, who say that the mast is imposing and creates noise and light disturbance. Their cause has since been taken up by Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner who has called for the mast to be relocated to another part of the site.
The Marshall review is now under way, with a report due “in full early in the new year”. A Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group spokesperson said of the enquiry: “There are in fact five different reviews underway in three key strands.”
The first is the ‘Internal Project Review’.
“This part of the review is being conducted by one of the senior executives in the business who was not involved with the original project,” says the Marshall spokesperson. “He is reviewing all of the key documents and the decision-making process. This part of the review is being conducted by one of the senior executives in the business who was not involved with the original project. He is reviewing all of the key documents and the decision-making process.”
Next up is the external radar location review.
“This part of the review is being conducted by Cyrrus Aviation, a highly experienced independent specialist in this field who were not involved in the original project,” said the spokesperson.
Thirdly is the environmental impact review.
“This has been broken down into three specialist aspects,” explained Marshall. “The visual impact review is being conducted by LDA Architects.
“The noise impact review is being conducted by Noise Consultants Ltd, and we are also engaged with the Cambridge City environmental health officer who has been conducting his own enquiries.
“The stroboscopic light impact review is being conducted by WSP, the global engineering consultancy.
“When we have received all of the specialists’ reports, they will be passed to an independent external reviewer who will consider each of the reports individually and collectively before presenting their overall assessment.
“I can confirm that we have, where relevant, shared the correspondence we have received from the local residents with the various parties involved in the reviews and are aware that they are also engaged directly with residents to ensure the independent experts have a full understanding of their concerns.”
RAADAR, the Residents Against Airport Disturbance and Radar group, is awaiting developments with some trepidation.
A spokesperson said: “According to their website, Noise Consultants Ltd have done other work for Marshall, notably the noise studies for their engine testing service.
“LDA Design was also involved in the consultation plans for Marshall’s proposed North Cherry Hinton Development – the development that prompted the need to relocate the radar in the first place.
“Given LDA’s involvement in that project and their well-established relationship with Marshall, it’s difficult to see how they can be regarded as independent. The review undertaken by Marshall is internal, not independent, although they have employed the services of a number of external contractors. Despite us formally requesting that they do so, they have refused – both verbally and in writing – to take into account the impact the installation is having on residents’ mental health.”
The contractors have apparently yet to contact many of the residents – though the holiday season and the new Tier 4 system has obliged businesses to adapt all over again.
The RAADAR spokesperson added: “While the visual impact reviewer took the time to visit several properties, the noise impact reviewer only visited one. Marshall responded negatively to our request that the noise reviewer visit more properties.”
Abbey ward councillor said Cllr Haf Davies said: “We welcome the news that Marshall are to look again at the radar.
“It is important the company use this opportunity to properly consider the impact of the mast on local residents.”
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