Plans for Council decision on redevelopment of Carlisle airport delayed again – till August
Carlisle City councillors have deferred a decision on Stobart’s planning application for a 394,000sq ft freight distribution centre and to resurface the runway. They will hold further consultations before the plans come back before councillors, probably on August 3. Gordon Brown, the farmer whose application for judicial review led the Court of Appeal to quash a previous airport consent, argues that the latest scheme should also have been thrown out. The application was originally submitted over a year ago, and was due to be refused in July 2012, when Stobart asked for a delay so they could challenge arguments against the plans. Now Stobart chief executive Andrew Tinkler says he is frustrated by this delay, and threatens loss jobs etc if his plans are refused.
‘NEW CARLISLE AIRPORT PLANS SHOULD BE SCRAPPED’ – FARMER
By Julian Whittle (News & Star)
7 July 2012
The Irthington farmer who scuppered plans to redevelop Carlisle Airport says the latest proposals should have been turned down too.
City councillors have deferred a decision on Stobart’s planning application for a 394,000sq ft freight distribution centre and to resurface the runway.
They will hold further consultations before the plans come back before councillors, probably on August 3.
But Gordon Brown, the farmer whose application for judicial review led the Court of Appeal to quash a previous airport consent, argues that the latest scheme should also have been thrown out.
It was originally scheduled to go before the development control committee a year ago but was delayed then, at Stobart’s request, so the company could challenge findings from the council’s aviation consultants.
These had led planning officers to recommend refusal of the £25m scheme.
Mr Brown told the News & Star: “Councillors should have refused it [yesterday].
“Applications have to be decided on the basis of material planning considerations and on that basis it should have been refused, as stated in the planning officers’ report of July 2011.”
Council leader Joe Hendry expressed regret that the application had been delayed again.
Speaking after the meeting, he said: “I am genuinely disappointed as I understand how much these plans for Carlisle Airport mean to the community and businesses.
“I want to reassure people that, if at all possible, a speedy conclusion will be sought at the next meeting.”
Stobart chief executive Andrew Tinkler is also frustrated by the delay.
He has repeated a warning that 650 Cumbrian jobs will go if the plans are turned down.
He said: “I understand the position the council is in. I know what they’re up against.
“I am really concerned that a legal challenge from one individual could put 650 people out of a job.”
Mr Brown’s challenge to the 2009 airport consent landed the council with a legal £185,000 legal bill then a further bill for £76,000 after the district auditor investigated alleged “misuse of public funds”.
She rejected the complaint but criticised the council’s handling of the planning application saying that, in future, reports to the development control committee should have clear recommendations.
Mr Brown’s solicitors fired a warning shot across the council’s bows this week.
The letter from Dickinson Dees said the report for Friday’s meeting had no clear recommendation.
It said: “Given the background to this matter, and the complexity of the issues arising, we are sure that you will agree it is essential for there to be transparency.
“You will understand that the committee papers as published do not contain the necessary information.”
Below are some earlier news stories about this application:
Carlisle airport plans depend on over-optimistic future tourism passenger figures
July 2, 2012 It is possible that Carlisle City Council will decide on the redevelopment plans for Carlisle airport this week, but more likely it will be delayed. It has been due last July, but Stobart asked for it to be delayed. The upgrades are mainly for freight, but the local council and the tourism bodies want air passenger, not only freight. However, 92% of Cumbria’s visitors are UK-based, though Cumbria Tourism etc want to attract more international tourists, and year to get visitors from Brazil, China, India and Russia – as well as more from America. And for these to fly up from London. One problem with the application is that Stobart have now halved the number of passengers it thinks it can get by 2025, from its initial guess of 100,000 per year, to 50,000. This lower number will reduce the alleged benefits to the local economy, and so is not likely to be approved. Click here to view full story…
Carlisle airport’s application for 394,000 square foot freight centre delayed again
1.6.2012 A decision on the future of Carlisle Airport has been delayed again. Stobart Group wants to build a 394,000sq ft freight-distribution centre and to resurface the runway ready for scheduled passenger flights and an airfreight service. Carlisle City councillors were due to consider the planning application this month, but it has been withdrawn from the development control committee’s agenda at Stobart’s request, as they want to submit more information. It is now up for review on 6th July. Planning officers were advising councillors to turn it down on the grounds that “the distribution centre appears to be primarily for road haulage rather than airport related”. Click here to view full story…
Carlisle Airport planning decision postponed till after 19th August as plans appear unrealistic
16th July 2011 Carlisle Council has put off a decision until after 19th August on whether to give Stobart Group permission to build a 394,000sq ft freight-distribution centre and resurface the runway. Councillors had been expected to turn down the application on 15th. Failure to get planning could significantly affect the valuation of Carlisle Airport, which Stobart bought 2 years ago. Aviation consultants working for the council advised that passenger flights would not be “commercially viable” and there was “very little potential” for air freight. Click here to view full story…
Latest Carlisle Airport plans could end up at public inquiry
11.3.2011 The latest proposals to redevelop Carlisle Airport could be called in for a public inquiry. Owner Stobart Group wants to resurface the runway and build an air-freight distribution centre, and they make all sorts of wild claims about jobs to be created. But Carlisle City Council is advertising Stobart’s application as a ‘departure’ from the local plan, so they will need to be referred to the Government Office NW, which may call an inquiry – as happened in 2008. Click here to view full story …..
Carlisle airport application hopes for 200,000 passengers by 2025 and 5 return flights per day
Date Added: 3rd January 2011 Owners of Carlisle airport, Stobart Group, have put in a planning application to resurface the runway and build a 394,000sq ft air-freight distribution centre. It claims this would create the equivalent of 156 full-time jobs and safeguard 73 existing jobs. There would be flights to Southend. The application warns that the airport is not viable without redevelopment. Stobart say that if they don’t get their application, they will move outside Cumbria. (News & Star) Click here to view full story…
Farmer wins appeal to stop Carlisle Airport revamp
19th May 2010 A Cumbrian farmer has won his legal fight to overturn planning approval for the £25 million redevelopment of Carlisle Airport. The Court of Appeal has quashed a decision by Carlisle City Council to allow Stobart Air to build a haulage depot and create a passenger and freight hub. The city council should have insisted on a full assessment of the environmental impact. Stobart was granted permission in December 2009 and is now looking at sites outside Cumbria. Click here to view full story…