Neighbour speaks out in support of Queen Alexandra Hospital helipad

LIFESAVER Hampshire Air Ambulance service's training helicopter practises landing at QA hospital
LIFESAVER Hampshire Air Ambulance service's training helicopter practises landing at QA hospital

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A NEIGHBOUR of Queen Alexandra Hospital has spoken out in support of night-time helicopter landings.

The man spoke out after his neighbours in the Cosham Heights estate protested at the hospital’s plans to scrap the current 8am to 6pm helipad landing restrictions in favour of 24-hour landings.

As reported, some residents have complained about the hospital’s proposal and said the air ambulance and coastguard helicopters flying over head during the day. were already too noisy. Some said the din drowned out their televisions and frightened their children. But one resident on the estate, who asked not to be named for fear of falling out with his neighbours, said: ‘Not everyone on the estate feels this way.

‘Some residents have been heavily lobbying people, trying to get them to complain about the plans. I was lobbied to go to the meeting about this or write a letter of complaint. They didn’t even ask me what I thought about it.

‘But I’ve spoken to neighbours and they’re either neutral about this or in favour. It seems to be a vocal minority around here who are outweighing the majority.

‘I’m personally not at all opposed to the helipad being 24-hour. They only use it if someone’s life is at stake.’

Speaking about the noise the helicopters make, the man said: ‘You can hear when the helicopter’s coming, and it has to come down a bit lower over our estate, but it’s all over in a minute and then it’s gone. You might see it once a day or twice a day at most.

‘It’s no different from hearing sirens going past. You hear ambulances all the time,

‘The estate came after the hospital so anyone who moved here should expect some noise. As for people complaining about their TVs – how is that more important than someone’s life? And complaints about children being scared – my neighbour’s children were playing out the front the other day and the air ambulance came over and they were jumping up and down and waving to the pilot. They loved it.’ Many residents living nearby have written to QA to support the plans, while politicians and patient groups also back the hospital.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust will submit a planning application to Portsmouth City Council, asking to get rid of the landing restrictions, later this month.

The council laid down the restrictions when granting permission for the helipad to be built in 2007 to protect residents from disturbance.