Homeowner sparks planning row at £1.3m home over helipad in his back garden

Neighbours are objecting to plans for a helipad
Neighbours are objecting to plans for a helipad in the village of Durley over concerns to the wildlife and potential noise pollution (Image credit: Google)

A top lawyer wants to build a helipad at his £1.3m home in a quiet Hampshire village – but neighbours are objecting to the plans, which they say will shatter the peace of the quiet village.

Mayus Karia was awarded planning permission for the helipad in the back garden of his six-bedroom luxury home in Durley for limited use, but now wants permission to increase the number of flights.

However, locals fear the noise and disruption helicopters will bring and say his bid is unnecessary as there are airports close by.

What are the planning restrictions on the helipad?

Currently, Mr Karia is restricted to no more than two round-trip landings per calendar month, and landings must occur within the hours of 8am-6pm, a permission known as Condition 2.

His planning agent wrote: “We need a loosening of the restriction to allow flexibility of irregular visits by some clients sometimes more than two trips a month.”

Mr Karia's planning agent, architectural designer Malcolm Harvey, told MailOnline the lawyer needs to be flexible for clients who want to fly into his home.

He added: “He has two billionaire clients from the USA and they want to come over and be able to land here. I can't say who they are they are names you may have heard of.

“We want the freedom for them to fly in when they need to.”

Objections to lifting helipad restrictions due to 'noise'

The other residents of the small village of Durley, which only has a population around 1,000, have accused the lawyer of thinking he "owns" Durley and a number have made official objections to Winchester City Council.

Durley resident Ginette Edwards wrote: “Utterly ridiculous to allow any helicopter landings at all so close to a riding stables and an abundance of horses, riders, and livestock in all the surrounding fields and roads.

“It takes just one terrified animal in the wrong place at the wrong time to potentially cause harm to itself, or injury or death to a driver, rider, or pedestrian. And all because the proposer can't be bothered to use taxis from the many large and small airports in the local area.

“Why is it the long term residents of this village have to suffer the noise pollution from one wealthy man's folly?”

Charlotte Pearce raised a different concern about the helicopter pad as she expressed her fears for the barn owls, goshawks, merlins, and redwings in the skies above Durley. She added: “I have lived in and around Durley for over 30 years and my friends live opposite and surrounding the proposed helipad.

“Unlimited flights to this location is a great concern for how the intense noise, vibration, and wind disturbance will affect the surrounding residents, their pets, and the animals and horses who graze the surrounding fields.

“There is an abundance of wildlife and birds who flourish in this peaceful, rural environment and helicopter activity has been proven to negatively affect nesting birds.”

Local Parish Council also opposes the plans

Durley Parish Council has also opposed the plans, stating: “In fairness to residents who live near to (the property) we would not wish to allow unrestricted hours, or have no conditions attached to the hours.

“We would not want to disturb residents’ tranquillity by allowing additional noise 24 hours a day. We do have small airfields in Durley and Upham and these should be utilised if additional facilities are needed.

“Durley Parish Council agrees that the current Condition 2 should remain to protect the rural character of Durley and the residents who live near to (the property).”

Homebuilding and Renovating has extensive guides on how to win over your parish council and also has an article outlining planning conditions.

Do you need planning permission for a helipad?

According to advice published by the British Helicopter Association, a helicopter landing facility does not require any kind of permission – provided it is not in a congested area – if no structure is erected in connection with its use as a helicopter landing area, such as a hangar, and its use is confined to the private or business use of the owner.

Any structures for general use by helicopters will normally require planning permission. However, if it is in a congested area, flight to and from the site may require the written permission of the Civil Aviation Authority under the provision of Rule 5 of the Rules of the Air Regulations 1996.

Check out our advice article if you want more information on how to get planning approval.

Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.