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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Carlisle airport decision delayed for a week

A decision on the future of Carlisle Airport has been delayed another week.

Carlisle Airport photo
Carlisle Airport

City councillors meeting today had been expected to confirm their “in principle” decision last August to approve Stobart Group’s plans for a freight distribution centre and resurfaced runway.

Planning consent has never been confirmed because of outstanding legal issues.

These include a claim from objector Gordon Brown that allowing the development would breach European state aid rules.

The council has taken legal advice, which says there is no breach.

But two days ago Mr Brown sent the authority a copy of his legal advice, which suggests the opposite is true.

In the light of his legal advice, planning officer Angus Hutchinson advised councillors that they could not make a decision today, during a development control committee at Carlisle Civic Centre.

The committee will meet again on Thursday when an updated report will be presented to councillors.

The airport development is contentious. The council has received 402 letters, emails and petitions in support, and 91 against. Supporters argue it would pave the way for Aer Arann flights to London Southend and Dublin.

Objectors claim that passenger flights and air freight are not viable and that the promise of flights is a ruse to get permission for a huge road haulage depot in open countryside, which would otherwise be refused.

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