Farmer wins appeal to stop Carlisle Airport revamp

 19.5.2010   (Cumberland News)

A Cumbrian farmer has won his legal fight to overturn planning approval for the
£25 million redevelopment of Carlisle Airport.

The Court of Appeal this morning quashed a decision by Carlisle City Council
to allow Stobart Air to build a haulage depot and create a passenger and freight
hub at the site.

Stobart said it was now looking at sites outside Cumbria for the depot, which
could lead to hundreds of jobs leaving the county.

Three judges sitting in the Court of Appeal this morning upheld a challenge to
the decision to grant consent to the scheme brought by Gordon Brown, of Irthington.

The council must now urgently reconsider the matter and faces hefty legal bills.

Stobart Air was granted permission for the plan in December 2009.

But Mr Brown claimed in court that the decision did not properly assess the environmental
impact of the plan.

Lord Justice Sullivan agreed and said the city council should have insisted on
a full assessment of the environmental impact not just of the freight facility,
but also for the development of the airport.

Although the council insisted that it would carry out such an assessment before
any wider planning consent was granted, the judge said that was not good enough
and construction of the freight facility might give the developer "a foot in the

The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Jacob and Sir Mark Waller, also said there was a possibility that the facility might remain "completed
but unoccupied" until the wider airport development, if consent for it is granted,
becomes a reality.

The city council was refused permission to appeal further to the Supreme Court and was ordered to pay Mr Brown’s substantial legal costs.

Lord Justice Sullivan also rejected Stobart Air’s plea that the planning permission
should not be overturned as the company was willing to promise that it would not
commence construction of the freight facility until a full environmental impact
assessment of the entire project was carried out.

Stobart chief executive Andrew Tinkler said: "We are very disappointed with the
decision that the planning approval has been quashed.

"The application has therefore been returned to the city council for redetermination.
We intend to appeal as we feel the court has not given due regard to us as an
airport operator.
Despite this setback, we remain committed to finding a solution for our future
logistics activities at the airport.
But from a business aspect, we have little choice but to start looking at alternative
options and sites that will also satisfy the requirements of the expanding Stobart
That’s the important thing for us: growing the business and securing more jobs
for whichever region we will be based in."

Aviation consultant Peter Elliott, who once worked for Mr Tinkler, and has fought
protracted legal battles against Stobart Group and Mr Tinkler, said:     "I am thrilled
for the people of Irthington.
There will now be no air freight aircraft flying low over their village."

He also called on city council leader Mike Mitchelson to "consider his position".


Have your say

To the person who suggested Mr Brown ‘should not have moved to a farm near an
airport’ fyi his family has farmed there for over 100 years! He has every right
to protect his business, dairy farmers have had a hard enough time of it lately
(ever heard of Dairy Farmers of Britain?)

The fault lies entirely with the City Council – complete waste of taxpayers money.


Posted by Caroline Barnes on 19 May 2010 at 21:29



Excellent news and a victory for all of us. Thank you Gordon Brown I am proud
of you.


Posted by Ian C on 19 May 2010 at 21:27



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