Saturday, 05 September 2015

Stobart Group submits extra detail for Carlisle Airport revamp plans

Planning bosses are examining extra detail submitted as part of a bid to overhaul Carlisle Airport.

Stobart Group was last month given extra time to provide information to back their case to bring scheduled passenger flights and air freight to the airport.

City councillors had been poised to refuse Stobart’s planning application to build a 394,000sq ft freight-distribution centre and resurface the runway.

A date for when the plans will be considered next has not yet been set.

A council spokeswoman said: “The application was deferred in July, at the applicant's request. This was to allow them more time to provide some additional information.

“This has now been received and is currently being reviewed by officers who will then either seek further clarification from the applicant or place a report before members at the earliest opportunity.”

Aviation consultants brought in by the council had concluded that passenger flights would not be “commercially viable” and there was “very little potential” for air freight.

That led planning officers to advise councillors to refuse the application on the grounds that “the distribution centre appears to be primarily for road haulage rather than airport related”.

Stobart strongly disagrees. The distribution centre would employ 121 Eddie Stobart haulage staff moved from Kingstown and create 69 additional jobs. There would also be 20 new jobs on the aviation side.

If approved, there would be scheduled flights from Carlisle to London Southend. The company claims the airport will be handling 200,000 passengers a year by 2025.

The freight operation would use small aircraft to fly fresh produce to the Scottish Highlands, islands and the Isle of Man.


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