Carlisle airport expansion battle back in court
Last updated at 11:21, Wednesday, 19 February 2014
A farmer has taken his fight against Carlisle airport’s expansion back to the courtroom claiming agreement was given “behind closed doors”.
Gordon Brown, from Irthington, first won his fight in 2010 against Stobart’s plans for a new freight storage and distribution facility at the Irthington site.
Lord Justice Sullivan ruled then that the original permission was ‘unlawful’ and ordered Carlisle City Council to think again.
Three years later, in February last year, the council granted permission again - subject to an agreement that the haulage giant paid £100,000 for a “habitat enhancement scheme”. They were also told to keep the airport open and railway maintained, unless it could be shown it was no longer economically viable.
Mr Brown argues that the agreement was unenforceable because there was no definition of economically viable. He also says that the variation to the agreement was concluded without proper authority and without public scrutiny.
The court heard how he said that the council failed in its obligations under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations and the Environmental Impact Obligations.
Opening the case in London yesterday, Gregory Jones QC said that the council was not entitled to enter into the fresh agreement and that, in any event, it did not meet his client's concerns. He argued that the revised agreement should have been subject to public scrutiny.
“This should have all been done in the open, not behind closed doors,” he told the High Court. “We say it is inappropriate and an abuse of the planning system. The section 106 agreement is dealing with a key issue in what is an extraordinary decision to grant planning permission for a giant shed warehouse, contrary to the development plan.”
He said that the previous planning permission was contrary to the development plan, and that the council had taken no steps subsequently to change it.
The judge is expected to reserve his judgement following three days of legal argument and to give a decision in writing later.
First published at 11:20, Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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