Chocks away! Model aircraft enthusiasts get cleared for take off on farmland

Model aircraft enthusiasts will be allowed to continue using a two-acre plot of farmland in a green belt area of Tyldesley to fly their planes. Planning officers in Wigan have given the go-ahead for Tyldesley Model Flying Club to use the grade II agricultural land south of Morleys Quarry on Morleys Lane for their hobby.

There are two defined mowed areas demarcating the planes' landing strip and the pits/ preparation area. Planning consent also includes a static caravan and a steel cargo container.

A report published on Wigan’s planning portal says that the Tyldesley Model Flying Club was founded in 1966 and has occupied a number of flying sites in and around the Tyldesley and Wigan areas providing facilities and training for’ the safe and responsible use of radio-controlled model aircraft for the local community. It said: “The club has around 33 members, many of whom are retired or approaching retirement age and tend to fly ‘silent flight’ models.

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“These are either un-powered or are powered by small electric motors rather than internal combustion engines. Silent flight models are flown by all members of the club with around 80 per cent of members solely flying this type of aircraft. Though internal combustion-powered models are in the minority across all of aeromodelling generally, the club does retain some such model use although these numbers are declining.”

It said that the flying of radio-controlled model aircraft outdoors is seen to be self-restricting in that it is not possible to fly in the rain, fog, snow or in high winds. “Consequently, in any calendar year it is estimated that less than 100 days were flying is considered possible and the club records indicate as such,” it added.

The report said that the retrospective application was in accordance with relevant national planning policy and it has been approved.