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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Time to get facts straight and be honest about Carlisle Airport

I read with interest the letter signed “Irthington Residents in support of Carlisle Airport” (The Cumberland News, November 18).

Airport development is supported by 58 per cent of Irthington parish residents; as a quick look in the recently distributed Irthington Parish Council Community Plan Report 2011 shows.

As a member of the parish council responsible for this plan (written after consulting every home in the parish), it is apparent that people are generally in favour of positive airport development, but do not want an industrial estate built in open countryside.

For the last five years the Stobart Group has been asked on a number of occasions to consult with local residents, as most people were uninformed as to what was coming (you may remember a previous “letter to the Editor” signed by 57 Irthington residents looking for more information).

I was one of the individuals involved with this door to door survey and of the 60 approached, only one person was happy with everything to do with the Airport and two declined to comment.

Following on from this Stobarts were invited to a public meeting in Newtown Hall, organized by Irthington Parish Council, but they declined to attend and city councilors only attended after initially refusing to do so.

This meeting was well attended, which allowed the parish council to better gauge the local feeling and respond accordingly to the city planning department as an official consultee (available on CCC website).

At a later date and after the end of the statutory window for public consultation on the application, Stobarts organised a “drop-in session” during working hours. This meant that most people, myself included, were unable to attend.

Those that did, like Gordon Brown, were invited to leave when they asked uncomfortable questions.

The above letter makes a number of unsubstantiated claims and shows little evidence of its authors having read either the planning application, or any of the contradictory accounts published by The Stobart Group in relation to their intentions for what is presently Carlisle Airport.

The authors’ concerns over supposedly misguided individuals unaware of their actions and attempting to prevent economic growth couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s about sustainable investment in suitable locations.

Any planning application of this magnitude is going to provoke comments and this particular application, in so far as it is possible to determine what is being proposed, would carry many negative consequences.

Most of these could be alleviated if the regional distribution centre was built in a more appropriate location such as Kingmoor where there are 88 hectares available.

I make no apologies for being “vocal” in raising my concerns but in fairness the applicant is hardly a shrinking violet.

Anyone can raise anything relevant with CCC as part of the planning process. But if “the authors” wish to make themselves known, our parish council meets every month and is open to members of the public for dialogue on all local issues and subjects of interest. We regularly have city and county councillor surgeries beforehand.

DALE RANSLEY
Irthington Resident

 

  • So Gordon Brown of Irthington is not opposed to the development of Carlisle Airport (The Cumberland News, November 25). You could have fooled me.

From the very start of Stobarts taking over from Dr Haughey, he has campaigned energetically against the development of the airport.

I can’t remember his first complaint – was it to do with rented fields? – which made Stobarts change the planning application.

Now Gordon goes through it with a fine tooth comb, finds a minor technical point and goes to court twice and fails but persists and goes a third time and wins, thereby costing the council a fortune in legal fees.

Without the interference of Gordon and his NIMBY friends the airport would by now be up and running with a runway that would have kept aeroplanes from flying over Irthington.

This time he does not mention the jumbo jets he frightened us with before or the transport business but says there won’t be enough aircraft to make the airport viable.

Just be honest with yourself Gordon and say you do not want the airport and leave it at that.

NESTA COWPER
Irthington

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