A GROUP of campaigners claim noise from aircraft over part of the Tyne Valley has become worse and could be affecting people’s health and wellbeing.

Members of the Aircraft Noise Action Group (ANAG) are campaigning to lower noise levels coming from aircraft taking off from Newcastle International Airport over their homes around the areas of Heddon-on-the-Wall, Throckley and Clara Vale.

Noel Heslop, who lives near Heddon, said that since April 2017, when a new satellite technology system began directing air traffic, the planes had been directed over a narrow corridor over the villages.

Prior to this, while residents in these areas said they experienced noise, it was less frequent as they said planes passed through a wider corridor.

“There are a number of impacts,” explained Mr Heslop.

“One is that you get woken up early morning so your sleep is disturbed. Some people are even considering moving house. It can affect your general wellbeing and some people say it makes them very anxious and agitated. Now we get constant aircraft noise from around 5am to 11pm, and sometimes later.

“It’s worse in summer, between April and October, when it can be every six to seven minutes.”

Airport bosses said the new system merely ‘formalised’ a corridor which aircraft have been flying down before.

The group said that when the airport consulted with Heddon-on-the-Wall Parish Council and Northumberland County Council about narrowing the corridor, it did not receive any objections.

However, members are positive about Newcastle Airport’s approach of employing consultants to look at bringing in respite routes, to give the flight path over Heddon-on-the-Wall a break from the aircraft noise.

The group expects to find out whether this is possible at a meeting with airport bosses in the near future.

Graeme Mason, planning and corporate affairs director, said: “We aim to be a good neighbour and to minimise the effects of our operations on the local community.

“We have held many constructive discussions with the members of ANAG and have always listened carefully to their concerns.”

“He said the airport would communicate their work on looking at ‘respite’ routes in the near future.