Stobart has pledged a subsidy of £250,000 per year to Aer Arran, to try to make Carlisle airport viable
Transport giant Stobart has ploughed an extra £250,000 a year into its plans to redevelop Carlisle airport. They have lodged new documents with the city council, pledging the money to be paid as a subsidy to airline operators – to ensure that the airport is financially sound. Aer Arann – now known as Stobart Air, which Stobart has a 45% stake in – has confirmed it is interested in running a service (to Dublin and Southend). This comes after the High Court quashed planning permission granted by the city council in March, due to a lack of detail about the venture’s commercial viability, which the cash injection aims to address. Stobart intends to “to grow Stobart Air significantly, following the completion of development at London Southend Airport” [LSA]. “Once planning approval is obtained for the developments at Carlisle Lake District Airport, Stobart Air would invest in new airport infrastructure and facilities…” Stobart plans to plough £20.36m into a new distribution centre at Carlisle airport. Carlisle council believed in 2011 there was no evidence that passenger flights predicted by Stobart Group would ever materialise.
STOBART’S £250,000 BOOST FOR CARLISLE AIRPORT
18 June 2014
Transport giant Stobart has ploughed an extra £250,000 a year into its plans to redevelop Carlisle airport.
The haulage group has lodged new documents with the city council, pledging the money to airline operators.
Aer Arann – now known as Stobart Air, which Stobart has a 45 per cent stake in – has confirmed it is interested in running a service.
The move comes after the High Court quashed planning permission granted by the city council in March, due to a lack of detail about the venture’s commercial viability, which the cash injection aims to address.
It is believed that the extra money would be paid as a subsidy to the operating airline to ensure that the airport is financially sound.
Stobart declined to comment today but documents lodged with the council this month said it “intended to grow Stobart Air significantly, following the completion of development at London Southend Airport”.
“LSA has developed new routes with major operators including easyJet with the ultimate aim of servicing two million passengers a year,” they said.
“Once planning approval is obtained for the developments at Carlisle Lake District Airport, Stobart Air would invest in new airport infrastructure to upgrade the facilities at Carlisle airport, including runway resurfacing and new aircraft stands, and commerce services from Carlisle to Southend and Dublin.”
The documents said it had provided a “robust business plan” which showed planned services were based on “reasonably priced ticket fares”.
It plans to plough £20.36m into a new distribution centre at the airport, aircraft stands, runways and a terminal and fire station, the document says.
The move comes after a high court judge ruled a city council planning official who recommended refusing planning permission in 2011 was right to conclude there was no evidence to show the passenger flights predicted by Stobart Group would ever materialise.
Speaking after the decision, Andrew Tinkler, Stobart Group’s chief executive, insisted that the firm is capable of running commercial passenger flights from Carlisle.
A city council spokeswoman confirmed the transport group had lodged extra information for “already existing plans”. She said the plans were out for consideration and would be debated by planners at a future date, which had yet to be decided.
First published at 15:57, Wednesday, 18 June 2014
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Some recent news stories about Carlisle airport:
Local farmer wins legal challenge on Carlisle airport expansion and freight distribution
March 25, 2014
Local farmer, Gordon Brown, who farms at Irthington close to Carlisle airport, has won another round in the long battle against the expansion of Carlisle Airport and its cargo distribution centre. The High Court judge, Mr Justice Collins, ruled that planners had failed to properly consider the viability of the plans. He allowed the challenge by Thomas Brown, and quashed the latest planning permission for a new freight storage and distribution facility at the airport. The judge said that Brown’s claim succeeded, though only on one ground, put forward by him – which was the failure by the council planners to consider the viability of the expansion plans properly. The decision was said to be borderline, and “by no means straight forward,” had taken years, and generated an “excessive” amount of paperwork. The latest round of the legal battle comes more than 3 years after Brown won a ruling from London’s Court of Appeal quashing the council’s previous grant of planning permission. Whether there will be an appeal against today’s ruling is not yet known.
HIGH COURT VERDICT THROWS CARLISLE AIRPORT PLANS INTO DISARRAY
21 March 2014 (In Cumbria)
Stobart Group is to submit new plans for the development of Carlisle Airport despite a legal set back today. The company has expressed frustration and disappointment at the High Court’s decision to back a challenge from a farmer but says it is determined to provide passenger flights from the airport. Mr Justice Collins, one of the country’s most experienced planning judges, allowed the challenge by Gordon Brown, from Irthington and quashed the latest planning permission for a new freight storage and distribution facility at the airport. The judge said that Mr Brown’s claim succeeded, though only on one ground put forward by him. That was failure by the planners to properly consider the viability of the expansion plans. In backing Mr Brown, the judge said that the decision allowing planning consent could only be justified if the planning committee was properly entitled to conclude that there was a reasonable prospect of achieving commercial use of the airport. But, he added, a key issue involving a subsidy was “not properly dealt with” by the planning committee. Details at
CARLISLE AIRPORT DECISION LIKELY IN NEXT THREE WEEKS
22 February 2014
A farmer opposed to expansion plans for Carlisle Airport must wait to hear the outcome of his latest legal battle with the local council. Related: Carlisle airport expansion battle back in court Mr Justice Collins, one of the country’s most experienced planning judges, has reserved his decision in the case in which Thomas Brown, from Irthington is hoping he will quash the latest planning permission for a new freight storage and distribution facility at the airport. The judge will give his judgement in writing, likely in the next three weeks. The latest round of the legal battle came more than three years after Mr Brown won a ruling from London’s Court of Appeal quashing the council’s previous grant of planning permission. However, in February 2013, the council granted a fresh permission for a freight distribution centre and the raising and re-profiling of the runway. The permission was made subject to a “section 106 agreement” imposing an obligation on Stobart Air to keep the airport open and the runway maintained unless it could be shown that the airport is no longer economically viable. Summarising the case at the start of the hearing, the judge said it amounted to a claim that the council had no power to enter into the agreement, that it didn’t achieve what it was proposed to achieve, and that it was unlawful because it was done behind closed doors.
Date set for February 2014 for Hearing at the High Court into Stobart’s Carlisle airport plans
September 23, 2013 .
Carlisle City Council’s decision to allow the development’s go-ahead is being taken to a judicial review – probably between 18th and 20th February 2014. Stobart Group wants to build a 394,000sq ft freight distribution centre and to resurface the runway for scheduled passenger flights to Southend and Dublin. Carlisle City Council granted planning permission in February, but their decision is being challenged by a local farmer who lives close to the airport, and has tenaciously persisted in his opposition for several years. He opposes the plan for the airport’s expansion because it appears the legal agreement between the council and Stobart Group is “unenforceable”; because planning officers gave “erroneous and seriously misleading” advice to the councillors who made the decision; because Carlisle City Council did not properly assess the criteria on “presumption in favour of development”; the council failed to comply with its obligations under the EU habitats directive – and several other failures in the Council process. Mr Brown persuaded the Court of Appeal to quash an earlier consent, granted in 2009, after he brought judicial review proceedings.
Carlisle airport resurfacing and freight centre still held up by High Court ruling
July 4, 2013
Stobart Group still plan a 394,000sq ft freight-distribution centre, and resurfacing of the runway for scheduled passenger flights to London and Dublin. But the airport development cannot start until the High Court rules on a legal challenge, brought by Irthington farmer Gordon Brown. He is seeking a judicial review of the Carlisle City Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the airport scheme, which he says does not comply with the council’s development plan and that planning officers gave councillors “erroneous and seriously misleading advice”. There are also questions on EU state aid rules and a planning condition. Work has begun on upgrading the sewers around Irthington, and this will remove another obstacle to the airport redevelopment plan – as this was one of the conditions in the planning approval, granted in February. The sewer upgrade, which will triple the capacity of the network, should be finished by October. The new sewer will mean treated effluent will no longer be discharged into a tributary of the River Irthing.
FRESH LEGAL MOVES START TO BLOCK CARLISLE AIRPORT PLANS
2 March 2013
Legal moves to stop the redevelopment of Carlisle Airport are underway. Irthington farmer Gordon Brown, who successfully overturned a previous planning consent in 2009, is mounting another challenge that could go all the way to the Court of Appeal. His solicitor, Dickinson Dees, has served a pre-action protocol letter on Carlisle City Council after the council granted planning permission last month. Stobart Group wants to build a 394,000sq ft freight-distribution centre and to resurface the runway for scheduled passenger flights to London Southend and Dublin. A pre-action protocol identifies the issues in dispute. It is the first step towards applying to the courts for a judicial review of a decision made by a local authority. The council has 14 days to respond. Mr Brown said he believed the council had “acted unlawfully”. He has said previously that the planning consent may breach European state-aid rules. Mr Brown warned councillors in January that, “at the very least”, they should check with the European Commission before granting permission. He also claimed that one of the council’s planning conditions was unenforceable.
Carlisle Airport – plans approved in principle, but legal and planning obstacles still remain
August 4, 2012
Plans to redevelop Carlisle Airport have been cleared in principle, by Carlisle City council, with an 11 – 1 vote, for air freight flights and passenger flights, but with many conditions. There could still be a judicial review by Peter Eliott. The Planning officer recommended “on balance” that councillors approve the plans, even though allowing the freight distribution centre in open countryside was against policy. The airport currently loses money, and the council hopes it will become profitable and bring money into the local economy. However, the council’s aviation consultants doubted whether scheduled passenger flights and air freight would survive for long. The airport can only survive if it is cross-subsidised by the freight distribution centre, and this may be illegal under EU law. Stobart are trying to make out that Carlisle can be as well used as Southend airport has become, but they are not readily comparable.
Stobart Group gets go-ahead for Carlisle airport redevelopment scheme but with many conditions
August 4, 2012
Carlisle City Council have granted planning permission for the Stobart scheme to develop Carlisle airport. They plan to build a 394,000sq ft freight-distribution centre and to resurface the runway for passenger flights and air freight. However, permissionis only agreed in principle and is subject to a string of legal conditions being met. The council decision is subject to an Appropriate Assessment by Natural England and a Section 106 agreement including obligation on Stobart to keep the airport open and the runway maintained, various travel plan obligations, and the payment of £100,000 in order to enable the undertaking of a habitat enhancement scheme to benefit breeding waders. Objectors could yet seek a judicial review of the council’s decision.