Resident in bid to silence iconic Vulcan bomber at Southend Airport

A frustrated resident living near Southend Airport has taken aim at the charity behind a 62-year-old Cold War bomber for causing “extreme distress” when the engine is tested.

The Vulcan Restoration Trust has been looking after the Vulcan bomber plane since 1993 and hosts an annual twilight taxi-run and regular open days where residents can view the plane.

However, resident David Smith has written to Mike Harper, Secretary of State for Transport, calling on him to help halt periodic testing of the military plane’s engines which he claims causes “extreme distress and suffering” to those living nearby.

The Vulcan Restoration Trust has declined to comment on the complaint, but Southend Council independent councillor Martin Terry branded the complaint “way over the top” and praised the trust’s work in maintaining the plane and holding popular events.

Mr Smith said: “I’ve raised these issues because I consider they are very damaging to the local residents. The issue of noise, especially night noise, has been ongoing for a long time.

“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 Smith said residents were not averse to the regular events held by the trust which allow members of the public to explore the historic aircraft.

Testing was carried out for approximately 45 minutes on May 10, while the taxi-run was held on Saturday evening.

Cllr 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.

“It’s a community asset that people use and get involved in. It’s very popular. When they run it up it is noisy but it’s an airport.”

An airport spokesperson claimed resident David Smith was a member of the London Southend Airport Community Noise Forum (LSACNF)

Mr Smith has refuted this claim, and while he has attended one meeting, he says he is not a member of the LSACNF.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter