Fears 80ft chimney may interfere with flight path at Duxford

Vetspeed (front left) and Imperial War Museum Duxford (back right). PICTURE: Peter Topping Blogspot.

Vetspeed (front left) and Imperial War Museum Duxford (back right). PICTURE: Peter Topping Blogspot. - Credit: Archant

Plans to build an 80ft chimney at a pet crematorium and waste plant in Thriplow have prompted fears that the structure could interfere with the flightpath at Duxford.

A planning proposal at the Thriplow Heath site will be submitted by owners Vetspeed Limited to include the chimney – with a new aim to obtain energy from waste, rather than just incinerating it.

But the plans for the tall chimney have provoked concern at the neighbouring Imperial War Museum.

A museum spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the proposal to build a new 80 foot chimney at the pet cemetery on the A505 at Thriplow Heath.

“As currently proposed, the chimney would have a significant safety impact on all aircraft flying into Duxford.

“The museum is currently monitoring the planning proposals in order to ascertain any further impact it may have on airfield operations.”

However, a spokeswoman for Vetspeed denies that there would be any issues with flight path interference.

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She said: “I am certain that our proposals fall considerably within safe levels and our plans and the height of the proposed new chimney are safe and within guidelines.

“We feel that we have taken a most professional approach with this proposal and commissioned a number of reports, in addition to holding open days both on site and at the village hall, where we presented our plans and our consultants were on hand to talk people through the plan and to answer their questions.”

The new equipment would allow waste to be turned into electricity, which would be exported to the National Grid as an alternative to fossil fuel.

The spokeswoman added: “Such a project will offer jobs in the local area both with the initial redevelopment and our on-going company growth which will help us be able to support the local community.”

The plant currently disposes of about 18,000 tonnes of waste a year.

Councillor Peter Topping, who represents the area for Cambridgeshire County Council, admitted that there isn’t a simple answer to the issue.

He said: “This is about preserving a key part of our aviation heritage versus progress in energy efficient waste treatment.”