Carlisle Lake District Airport expansion plans approved

Carlisle City Council today approved the eagerly anticipated £35m expansion of Carlisle Airport, subject to conditions to be announced next week.

A special meeting of the planning committee was held to discuss the application by Andrew Tinkler's Stobart Air.

The approval is subject to more than 50 conditions, which will be discussed at a reconvened meeting due to be held next Friday 4 April.

The application includes a new 620,000 sq ft logistics centre to consolidate Stobart's facilities in the region, along with the construction of replacement runway, a new passenger terminal and a new air traffic control centre. The airport is likely to be renamed Carlisle Lake District Airport and new passenger and freight services introduced.

A statement from the city council said: "The city council recognised that the application was of major public interest, and to reflect the complexity and scale of the application, a large-scale consultation exercise was undertaken. In addition to comments received from local residents and businesses, as a result of the widespread publicity given to the submission, more than 50 statutory and non-statutory organisations, agencies and authorities were specifically asked to comment.

"Subject to formal approval of the planning conditions next Friday, the application will then be referred to the Government Office for the North West. They will then decide if they are satisfied that the city council is able to make the decision or whether they feel a public inquiry should be staged to debate the proposal. A planning inspector working on the Government's behalf would then make a final decision on the application."

Ongoing and forceful protests from local campaign groups focused on the impact of extra traffic on noise, pollution and safety and on protecting the integrity of nearby Hadrian's Wall.

The airport is currently under an option to be acquired by the Stobart Group along with its 460 acre estate for £15m in cash and shares.

The deal is subject to planning consent and a business feasibility study being completed satisfactorily by the end of June.

Stobart was not making any further comment today.

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