Work on Carlisle airport revamp for freight centre could start in 6 weeks, if there is no legal challenge
Work on the redevelopment of Carlisle Airport could begin in 6 weeks, unless there is another legal challenge to the planning approval granted by Carlisle City Council councillors. Their development control committee has given the scheme – which includes the creation of a huge freight distribution depot – full approval. It was the 4th time that the matter has gone to committee for decision. Work can start, if there is no application by opponents of the scheme for a judicial review of the planning approval. That application would have to be lodged within 6 weeks. The planning law has recently changed, so the council did not need to consider whether the airport would be commercially viable, nor whether Stobart would actually keep the airport open – rather than just use the land for freight storage and transfer. One key opponent, Peter Elliott, has stressed that the runway should be realigned, to take it away from Irthington village, due to safety. Supporters of the scheme hope it will create jobs, but that is uncertain. Stobart shareholders had previously been told that the huge freight distribution centre would reduce rather than create jobs. Stobart hope 40,000 people per year would fly from Carlisle to Southend Airport, plus 20,000 per year to Dublin.
WORK ON CARLISLE AIRPORT REVAMP COULD START WITHIN WEEKS
Last updated 20 August 2014
Work on the long-awaited £20 million redevelopment of Carlisle Airport could begin in six weeks – provided there is not another legal challenge to the planning approval granted by councillors.
The city council’s development control committee has given the scheme – which includes the creation of a huge freight distribution depot – full approval.
It was the fourth time that councillors have given the project a green light.
The only thing now likely to stop the development proceeding would be an objector applying for and securing yet another judicial review of the planning approval.
Anybody wishing to do that must lodge the application within six weeks.
This week’s special meeting of the committee came after a change in the law gave fresh impetus to the airport plan: new case law means councillors were not obliged, as they were previously, to consider whether the airport would be commercially viable.
Nor did they have to make planning permission conditional on a promise to keep the airport open.
While there was little debate about the latest application, several members of the public did exercise their right to speak.
The first to do so was former helicopter pilot and aviation director Peter Elliott, one of the scheme’s most outspoken opponents.
He showed the meeting a dramatic projector image of a helicopter crash in the US city Seattle, suggesting that granting permission to the scheme could produce a similar result and “endanger life”.
“I think it is a statistical certainty that there will be an aircraft which will crash within the next 50 years,” Mr Elliott claimed, adding that it was a statistical probability that this would happen during take off or landing. He said that all he wanted was for the runway to be realigned, to take the flight path away from Irthington village.
Dale Ransley, speaking for Irthington resident Charmi McCutcheon, said there was nothing in the report prepared for councillors which prevented Stobart from closing the airport, and doing this as soon as possible made “complete business sense”.
Crosby-on-Eden resident Mike Fox, who is also a Stanwix Rural parish councillor, said Stobart shareholders had previously been told that opening the freight distribution centre – measuring 241m by 151m – would reduce rather than create jobs.
He also suggested Stobart could close the airport before work to upgrade the runway even began.
The meeting also heard from Stobart officials, including the firm’s estates manager Richard Butcher who said: “Stobart genuinely want the airport to succeed – not only for our own business aspirations but also to make a significant contribution to the growth of the Carlisle and Cumbrian economies.”
Stobart Air boss Julian Carr predicted 40,000 people a year would fly from Carlisle to Stobart’s existing Southend Airport, and a further 20,000 a year to Dublin.
In the debate on the issue, the main contribution was from Councillor Ray Bloxham, who represents Longtown and Rockcliffe. He said the development would have a “heavy effect” on the area’s roads.
He called for restrictions on HGVs travelling through villages of Irthington and Ruleholme, and for central reservations to be introduced to improve safety at the junctions for those villages on the A689 next to the airport.
After the plan was approved, Stobart boss Andrew Tinkler said: “We believe the flights we have identified will be sustainable, and our customers often want air freight.
“Our business plan has always stacked up. Ideally, we would like to see work start in a couple of months.”
First published at 17:37, Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Carlisle CIty Council gives go-ahead to Carlisle airport overhaul – largely to be a freight centre
Plans for the £20 million overhaul of Carlisle Airport have been given the go ahead – again. A special meeting of Carlisle City Council took place on 18th August, with councillors asked to approved Stobart Group’s proposals for a massive freight distribution centre and revamped runway. One councillor expressed concerns over potential traffic congestion but no councillor voted against the motion to approve officers’ recommendations. The Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler said that work could begin within “a couple of months” – provided there are no legal challenges. The decision came despite the High Court quashing a previous planning permission decision, as new case law has since emerged which means that the need to take into account the viability of the airport is no longer relevant. However, opponents of the plans are questioning the legality of the council decision. Local people are asking for this decision to be called in. This freight depot proposal is deeply opposed by a large proportion of the local community. There is concern that the proposal was permitted because Tinkler showed a film, of Stobart employees begging for consent to be granted, at the planning meeting.