Resident urges minister to halt ex-bomber tests

Ex-service Vulcan bomber plane
The Cold War Vulcan bomber is based at Southend Airport and engine tests are carried out twice a year [LDRS]

A resident living near an airport has complained to the government over "extreme distress" from the regular testing of a Cold War bomber plane.

David Smith, 62, has written to Transport Secretary Mike Harper, urging him to help halt periodic testing of the military plane’s engines near Southend Airport.

Mr Smith claimed the sound caused "extreme distress and suffering" to those living in the area.

The Vulcan Restoration Trust has declined to comment on the complaint, but independent councillor Martin Terry branded it as "way over the top".

The trust has been looking after the Vulcan XL426 bomber since 1993 and hosts regular open days where residents can view the plane.

Testing was carried out for approximately 45 minutes on 10 May, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Mr Smith said: "The violence of the noise that comes from the Vulcan is especially damaging and that’s what we need to stop.

"If they want to keep it as a museum piece, that’s fine, but it’s the noise it creates that does the damage."

Mr Terry said: "It’s a heritage asset that a lot of people enjoy. The community enjoys their open days. The airport has been there for a century.

"I think it’s rather small-minded. There has to be some sort of compromise.

"When they run it up, it is noisy but it’s an airport."

A spokesperson for Southend Airport said: "Mr Smith is a member of our Community Noise Forum (LSACNF) and we encourage him to raise these queries directly within the forum itself."

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