Public Safety Zones

What are Public Safety Zones?

Public Safety Zones (PSZs) are areas at either end of the runways at airports. In these areas, new development should be controlled to restrict the number of people who may be exposed to risk if there is an aircraft accident on take-off or landing.

For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of being correct, the classification of PSZs has changed and they are now known as:

  • The Inner Boundary Public Safety Restricted Zone PSRZ (previously the 1;10,000 Risk Contour); has been set at 500 metres from the landing threshold
  • The Outer Boundary Public Safety Controlled Zone PSCZ (previously the 1;100,000 Risk Contour); has been set at 1,500 metres from the landing threshold

More information about the Public Safety Zones at Farnborough airport can be found on the Rushmoor Borough Council website (link opens in new window).

Public Safety Zone Maps

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it mean that I should not live in a PSZ?

No, nothing changes simply because a PSZ has been declared.

People can live or work normally in a PSZ. The reason behind the declaration of PSZs is simply that there should be no increase in the number of people living, working or gathering in PSZs.

Who makes the decisions on any planning applications within a PSZ?

The Department for Transport declares PSZs but Rushmoor Borough Council or Hart District Council will make all planning decisions within the PSZs of Farnborough Airport.

The Department for Transport has published policy guidance to help us to decide planning applications and consider road proposals affecting land within PSZs.

What building is allowed within a PSZ?

Generally, there will not be any new or replacement development or changes of use of existing buildings within PSZs. So no new or replacement housing, mobile homes, caravan sites, other residential buildings or new or replacement non-residential development will be allowed.

However, not all new development is prevented in a PSZ. There are many sorts of new development that are allowed, including:

  • Domestic home extensions and ‘granny annexes’
  • Extension or alteration to non-residential properties which would not increase the number of people working or gathering in that property
  • Changes of use of a building or of land which would not increase the number of people living, working or gathering in or at the property or land above the current level.

Some other forms of development will also be allowed. Examples of these might include:

  • Long stay and staff car parking (where the minimum stay is expected to be more than six hours)
  • Open storage and certain types of warehouse development. ‘Traditional’ warehousing and storage use, in which a few people are likely to be present within a large site, is acceptable. But more intensive uses, such as distribution centres, sorting depots and retail warehouses, which would mean large numbers of people being on a site, should not be allowed.
  • Development of a kind likely to introduce very few or no people onto a site regularly. Examples might include unmanned structures, engineering operations, buildings housing plant or machinery, agricultural buildings and operations, buildings and small structures such as sheds and garages within private gardens, and buildings for storage purposes for existing industrial development. Public open space which is not likely to attract large numbers of people is allowed but new playgrounds should not be built in PSZs, New playing fields or sports grounds should also not be built in the PSZs.
  • Golf courses (but not clubhouses) or allotments.

However, there are some areas at Farnborough Airport where there are more stringent planning controls. These more restricted areas are within the airport boundaries at the eastern, Farnborough, end, but they extend just beyond the airport boundaries at the western end where it crosses a small stretch of the Basingstoke Canal and the A323, Aldershot Road.

This information is for guidance only. For further information on planning issues contact Rushmoor Borough Council or Hart District Council.

Will special conditions be imposed upon any grants of planning permission?

Where planning permission is needed for new development in the PSZs we will consider (as appropriate) adding suitably-worded conditions to limit the number of people who might be present on site at any time. Any such condition will still have to meet the tests for planning conditions as set out in Circular 11/95: The Use of Planning Conditions in Planning Permissions.

Does the creation of a PSZ affect any past planning permissions?

No.PSZ policy has full effect only where any new development needs planning permission.

Am I entitled to compensation because I now live in a PSZ?

No, you are not entitled to any compensation. You may however be entitled to compensation if you are refused planning permission solely on PSZ policy grounds but this is not automatic. You are only likely to get compensation if:

  • A site or property is incapable of being put to any alternative beneficial use as a result of it being within a PSZ,
  • Planning conditions are imposed solely for Public Safety Zone policy reasons,
  • Planning permission is revoked or modified’, or
  • The Council withdraws your normal rights to extend or alter your property without the need for planning permission and then refuses permission or grants it subject to conditions.

This is not related to any compensation that you may be entitled to under the Land Compensation Act 1973. In some instances compensation may be payable under this Act for any loss in land value due to noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, artificial lighting and the release of any solid or liquid substance onto your land. You must however seek your own independent advice about this.

Where can I get more advice?

The Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for putting in place these safety zones. How this is done is set out in the Department for Transport’s circular Control of Development in Airport Public Safety Zones.