The multi-millionaire son of Sir James Dyson has won a planning battle to install a helipad at his country mansion – after agreeing not to fly during church services.
Jake Dyson faced widespread local opposition to his plan to install a landing pad in the grounds of his 18th Century home, which sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Residents, two councils, Historic England and the local church council all raised concerns that flights would impact on the tranquil landscape and religious services.
To appease their concerns Dyson resubmitted the application with an agreement that ‘flights will not conflict with planned church services’.
Jake Dyson faced widespread local opposition to his plan to install a landing pad in the grounds of his 18th Century home, which sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Development Management Committee has now rubber-stamped his plans – saying the helipad will ‘enhance the societal significance’ of the stately home.
An independent report commissioned by Historic England said that helicopters and country homes are both ‘expressions of material wealth’.
It added: ‘The operation of a helicopter from the grounds could therefore only enhance the average person’s appreciation of it as the country house of a wealthy person.’
Jake, 45, says he expects to use the helipad once or twice a week, between the hours of 7am and 11pm – but there will be no helicopter movement while the local Grade II* listed church is in use.
The helipad, at Jake’s Grade II listed property in Hinton Charterhouse, Somerset, will be a 6×6 metre concrete slab covered with turf, with a 30m safety zone.
Jake, a successful entrepreneur in his own right after founding low-energy lighting business Jake Dyson Products, does not need permission to fly into his property.
A total of 11 helicopter flights have been made into the stately home, bought by his father Sir James Dyson in 2015, since February 2017.
A total of 11 helicopter flights have been made into the stately home, bought by his father Sir James Dyson (pictured) in 2015, since February 2017
Jake’s helicopter is currently stored at Bristol Airport when not in use, and this arrangement will continue.
A previous application for a helipad was withdrawn after concerns from Historic England about the impact of a helicopter on the tranquil rural setting of the churchyard.
Fifty-four members of the public also objected, raising concerns about noise, privacy and the impact on the listed properties.
Christopher Clemence, chairman of the local Parish Council, said: ‘There is concern about the helipad in the village and the church are concerned about the noise.’
Council clerk Geoffrey Parkes added: ‘There has been a lot of concern in the community.
‘There was a lot of objection from people in the village before the application was withdrawn.’
There were three letters of support brought before the council planning officers, who judged that the development would not result in a change of the use of the land.
Development in the green belt area was therefore deemed acceptable in principle.
The Civil Aviation Authority, National Air Traffic Services, Bristol Airport and the Ministry of Defence have been consulted and raised no objections.
Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Development Management Committee members said the applicant was ‘mindful’ of the impact the development would have and voted to delegate to permit the application.
A spokesperson for Mr Dyson said after the meeting: ‘We are pleased the committee has overwhelmingly supported our revised planning application which addressed the concerns of the community.’