THE owner of a controversy-hit airfield has dismissed claims he is ignoring planning restrictions and developing the site to welcome jet planes.

It has emerged that since Hambleton District Council approved Martin Scott’s plan to modernise the 44-acre airfield at Bagby, near Thirsk, last summer, the authority has issued the solicitor with breach of condition notices.

The airfield has been the focus of a bitter dispute between some residents of Bagby and nearby Thirkleby and Mr Scott for more than a decade and led to the council being told to compensate residents for losing planning control of the site, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance quitting its base there and several public inquiries.

Last summer, the council granted permission for Mr Scott to transform the engineering building into a clubhouse and control tower, build a tractor shed, hangar, driveway, a fixed fuel facility and use a hangar for aircraft maintenance, as long as air movements are capped at 8,440 a year.

Since the decision, residents have complained to the council claiming there had been a breach of planning control in regard to the concreting of the runway, which they claim has been done to enable jet planes to use the site.

Helen Kemp, the council’s director of economy and planning said: “This was investigated by the senior enforcement officer and it was evident that hardstanding was being laid in the correct location and was in accordance with the approved plans.

“However, a number of planning conditions imposed by the council related to the requirement for the new access road to be completed and operational before any further operational works could occur on the airfield.

“The council has served a number of breach of condition notices on the owner of the site in relation to this breach of planning control. If the breach of condition notices are not complied with then the council can look at the possibility of taking further enforcement action on the site.”

Mr Scott described suggestions that a runway at Bagby Airfield was being concreted to enable jet planes to land at the site near Thirsk as “crazy”, and said he believed residents had misidentified a single-engine turboprop aircraft that had occasionally landed at the site last year.

He said the wet winter had made it impossible to adhere precisely to the planning conditions, such as completing the driveway first. Mr Scott said: “We are doing our level best, including spending £100,000 on the new access road, but I can’t finish it as the land is a bog at the moment.

“We are also investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in a monitoring scheme for flights, which features three radars and cameras everywhere, which people will be able to examine on the internet. We agreed to this system because we have nothing to hide.”