A SKYDIVING company is set to close in the next few months, allowing a developer to build hundreds of new homes close to Wanborough.

Redlands Airfield will stop its flights in mid-September after 30 years of operation, a spokeswoman has confirmed.

Borough councillor Dale Heenan, who announced on social media that the company has been served notice, told the Adver: “Skydiving has split local opinion for 20 years and there is a long record of people being for it because of the charity jumps and people against because of the noise and low flying.

“Planning permission for 300 homes on Redlands Farm was granted last April, and since then it has always been a case of when, not if, skydiving stopped.”

Owned by Joe and Sarah Smith, Redlands offers parachute training, air experience flights and charity jumps for people to raise money.

In April 2018 a statement on the company’s website said: “The planning decision doesn’t affect our daily operations at Redlands, we’re still flying and skydiving and intend to continue as long as we can.”

But following closure announcement, several residents have expressed their disappointment on Facebook.

MORE NEWS: It's time to talk about men's mental health

MORE NEWS: Young author with cerebral palsy inspires Swindon Spring Festival audience

MORE NEWS: Highworth residents plan to petition High Court to re-count bungled ballot​

Millie Green said: “Redlands has been amazing for providing bucket list charity tandem jumps and have given us the opportunity to raise funds for our charity locally, to support local families.

“They provide a great service and we will certainly miss the sound of the little plane and its engine cutting as amazingly brave fundraisers exit the plane.”

Pat McCoy Bartlett added: “We love sitting in our garden in Park North, on a Saturday and Sunday listening for the airplane engines to cut back, knowing that the parachutist will follow. We could also hear the parachutes open on some occasions. It was fantastic, what a shame it’s to be no more.”

But over the years, petitions and campaigns asking the company to shut down due to the noise produced by its planes have increased online.

A petition amassing nearly 1,000 signatures in 2012 was urging Redlands to ground their nosiest plane.

And in 2016 another one was set up by Chiseldon Action Group asking for the flight paths to be changed.

Jennifer Cherry commented: “Glad to hear all the plans are finally coming together. Won’t be sorry that the planes will be gone. Thousands that signed petitions over the year will be relieved. We’ll be able to have peaceful days off without planes flying over every 15 minutes.

She added: “They come so low over my house I can read the number on the plane. I know they do good things for charity, but it is not good to be right under the flight path of them taking off.”