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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Fresh delay for Stobart Group's Carlisle Airport planning application

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

Stobart Group wants to build a 394,000sq ft freight-distribution centre and to resurface the runway ready for scheduled passenger flights and an airfreight service.

City councillors were due to consider the planning application a week on Friday.

But now the item has been withdrawn from the development control committee’s agenda at Stobart’s request.

A council spokeswoman said: “We have agreed to defer consideration following a request from Stobart for an opportunity to submit further information in support of their application.

“We are pleased to receive any information that will assist it in properly determining what is a very important application.

“Once we have analysed the information that Stobart are going to submit, we will arrange a special meeting so the matter can be determined as soon as possible.”

Officials hope a new date can be set later in June.

Stobart had been pressing for the council to deal with the planning application sooner rather than later.

However, it is understood the company asked for more time so that it can respond to the latest findings of the council’s aviation consultants.

The planning application was to have been dealt with last July but was also delayed then at Stobart’s request.

Planning officers were advising councillors to turn it down on the grounds that “the distribution centre appears to be primarily for road haulage rather than airport related”.

Stobart asked for time to challenge those findings.

That triggered months of delay as documents were exchanged between the council, consultants, Stobart Group and the objectors.

Councillors first backed proposals to redevelop the airport in 2008 but the scheme was dropped after the then Communities Secretary, Hazel Blears, called a public inquiry.

The council approved a second planning application in 2009 only for the decision to be quashed in the Court of Appeal when Irthington farmer Gordon Brown sought a judicial review.

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