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Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield Master Plan
Airport master plans set out the proposals for the expansion of airports for the period to 2030 in accordance with guidance issued by the Department for Transport. The Draft Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield (RHADS) Master Plan, and its associated Sustainability Appraisal, was launched at a press conference in October 2008. The period of consultation extended over 19 weeks.
The consultation included a series of public exhibitions in towns and villages most affected by the operation of the Airport. In addition to exhibition boards, a 16 page leaflet was made available at the events that summarised the key features of the Master Plan and included a questionnaire to facilitate responses. Some 3,000 leaflets were distributed at the events.
A number of methods were used in an attempt to inform and consult with as many organisations and members of the public as possible about the Draft Master Plan. Correspondence inviting participation in the consultation was sent to local authorities and other public bodies, local councillors, MPs, community and environmental groups, members of the Airport Consultative Committee and Airport Transport Forum (membership of the latter two bodies including representatives of local and regional government).
A total of over 2,000 responses using the various methods available were received during the consultation period. In addition, there were over 10,000 hits on the dedicated Master Plan page of the Airport’s website. An independent researcher was employed to log all written responses and analyse the broad findings which were published in an Interim Consultation Results leaflet in December 2008.
In the associated Comments & Responses report, the Airport has responded to every written comment on the Draft Master Plan received during the consultation exercise and has also indicated the nature of agreed changes made to the Draft in order to prepare the final version of the Master Plan. The Master Plan Steering Group, comprising local and regional authorities and other stakeholders, helped in the review of all the responses.
The results indicate overwhelming support amongst respondents for the Airport’s Vision Statement and its plans to expand passenger services and the associated business park. There were also similar levels of support for the Finningley and Rossington Route Regeneration Scheme road, linking the Airport to the M18 that will improve journey times to RHADS from the region’s towns and cities.
The responses from local and regional authorities and the business community recognised the important role of RHADS not only in terms of offering the region national and international connectivity, which is vital in today’s global economy, but also in regenerating this part of the Sheffield City Region. Airports do act as catalysts for investment, and the continued growth of RHADS will create jobs and other opportunities for people to live and work in reasonable proximity.
Most respondents to the questionnaire considered that the Airport was doing well in addressing environmental impacts. However, while the Master Plan aims to continue to grow RHADS, the Airport is committed to ensuring that this will be achieved in the context of strict environmental controls to limit pollution and particularly noise for residents living near to the Airport.
In the light of the overall results of the consultation, the Airport did not consider it appropriate or necessary to revise its preferred development options. Clearly, not everyone supported the growth of RHADS. However, the Airport considered the views of those who either objected or were unsupportive of aspects of, or all of the plans, against those who were in favour, and took account of current national, local and regional policy in order to come to a balanced view on how to take the Draft Master Plan forward.
It is clearly important for the Airport to continue its dialogue with local people and others with an interest in its development.
The Airport wishes to thank all those who participated in the consultation which was the largest exercise of its kind since the planning application for the commercial airport was submitted in 1999. It has been very valuable in understanding the views of those people living in neighbouring communities.
The final version of the Master Plan; the associated Sustainability Appraisal; and the Comments & Responses report are now available to download - please click here.
These documents will be sent to the Department for Transport; local authorities and other local and regional bodies and agencies for them to take into account in preparing their own plans and strategies.
The Master Plan will be subject to regular monitoring and a formal review every five years, including further public consultation.
Should you have any questions, please contact
Airport Master Plan
Robin Hood Airport
Doncaster DN9 3RH