It's all up in the air for Carlisle Airport
30th May 2010
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In the “Green Corner” there were tears of joy and much clapping on backs following the new coalition government’s announcement to scrap Heathrow’s 3rd runway. Around the camp fire (emissions from this source of heat/light are allowable within the framework of CO2 reduction targets) there was much muttering regarding what to do about the further 30 or so airport expansions dotted around the rest of the UK.  And then the news filtered through that the Court of Appeal upheld a challenge by local Irthington farmer, Gordon Brown, to Carlisle Council’s decision to grant consent to Stobart Air to build a haulage depot and create a passenger and freight hub at Carlisle Airport.

The Court of Appeal outlined the basis for upholding the challenge – the judges said Carlisle Council had not fully assessed the environmental impact of the plans. It went further and refused Carlisle Council leave to appeal and ordered it to pay the rather sizeable legal costs of Mr Brown.

In the “I See Red Over this Decision Corner”, Carlisle Council leader, Mike Mitchelson, is somewhat bemused about the judgment on the challenge which failed in two previous High Court hearings. The Court of Appeal held that Carlisle Council did not properly assess the overall environmental impact, focusing only on the haulage proposal and not the airport. The Council says it adopted a 2-stage approach which would consider the impact of the airport later, but this was rejected by the Court of Appeal as being “inadequate”.

Mike Mitchelson has pledged to fight to overturn a ruling by the Court of Appeal that the council did not properly assess the environmental impact of the scheme.

The Stobart Group (owners of Stobart Air) is already looking at alternative sites outside Cumbria, and if there is no basis for appeal, will relocate taking jobs out of the region which will have a devastating effect on the local economy.

Mr Mitchelson, is truly disappointed by the decision. He said that his aim was to develop the economy of Carlisle and Cumbria through the development of Carlisle aiport, keeping the Stobart Group and its jobs in the region.

Mr Mitchelson added: “It is frustrating that a plan which has the support of 99.9 per cent of the population has been knocked back like this.”

What’s your view?

About the Author

Tony S

Member since: 29th January 2012

Sea kayaking, hill walking, a bit of climbing and just taken up sailing.
Been in business in Carlisle for around 20 years (former Managing Director of Jack Wolfskin Ltd.), and a keen believer...

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