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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Farmer wins appeal to stop Carlisle Airport revamp

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

Gordon Brown photo
Gordon Brown

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 door”.

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 business.

“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”.


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The discussion has been moved over to the article City council chief vows to fight Carlisle Airport ruling, where the story is developing.

Online editor

Posted by Ian on 20 May 2010 at 12:46

Very sorry to hear the news. There is such rubbish spoken about 'low flying aeroplanes' etc. Perhaps the good people of Irthington might give some consideration to the wider Cumbrian population who NEED work . Cumbria is once again sinking into a backwater. Perhaps the council will accept some blame for not covering all the problems BEFORE they gave a half hearted (as it turns out) 'GO AHEAD'. I think Cheshire might be looking forward to the future with Stobarts now. Meanwhile we'll all go back to the dark ages...OK for those with!!

Posted by graham Dawson on 20 May 2010 at 12:45

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