Air ambulance's bid for new base submitted

Wiltshire air ambulance Image copyright Chris Watkins Media
Image caption The charity's staff are currently based at two sites in Devizes and Calne

Wiltshire Air Ambulance says it has received an "overwhelmingly positive" response to its plans for a new base south of Melksham.

The charity wants to move its office staff, helicopter and aircrew to a new building at Outmarsh Farm, Semington.

Its leases on the two current sites will run out within three years.

The new base would allow the helicopter to reach all parts of the county "within 11 minutes", said Chairman Mandy Clarke.

Four houses currently fall within a 450m radius of the helipad in which the noise is predicted to be most disruptive.

The application for outline planning permission has been submitted to Wiltshire Council.

The charity does not yet own the agricultural site but has secured an option to buy it, should permission be granted.

The base would have "unrestricted" hours. The charity's Bell 429 helicopter "typically" flies out once or twice a day - occasionally at night, the plan says.

Its office team is currently based at offices in Calne while the helicopter operates out of a hangar at police HQ in Devizes. The leases on both will run out in January 2018 and December 2017 respectively.

Ms Clarke said: "The feedback we received during our public consultation was overwhelmingly positive and re-affirmed our view that the Outmarsh Farm site was our preferred location."

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