A revised planning application for the first phase of Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone is to be submitted by the end of this month.
The hybrid application will include a revised location for the eastern access road, and set out the level of sports facility provision the developer must provide given that existing sports pitches are to be demolished under the plans.
The application has been drawn up by Preston-based Cassidy + Ashton Architects, which has been working with the airport’s owner Blackpool Council on the project since 2018. C+A won a £1m contract this month to carry out a series of studies and design work for the redevelopment of Blackpool Airport, after bids for the scheme closed in December.
C+A is tasked with undertaking feasibility studies and producing concept designs for the provision of new and replacement hangars, determining the best locations for car parking sites and exploring the proposed relocation of operational facilities such as the air traffic control tower, fire station and an administration facility. The concept designs are expected to be ready by the end of March.
The design builds upon a masterplan for the airport produced by Mott McDonald and York Aviation in 2018.
Another tender is due to launch in the first quarter this year to provide an upgraded airport perimeter track and crash gates, followed by another tender in March for further works including drainage.
Construction is already underway on 0.8-acres of land at Amy Johnson Way for two industrial units and associated car parking spanning 15,000 sq ft to house a local events and exhibition company.
Additionally, work has begun to provide a new airport boundary fence to separate off the proposed replacement grass sports pitches.
A decision on the hybrid application is subject to consideration by the Secretary of State because the site will require a Green Belt de-designation, and that is expected by late spring.
Since July 2018, Blackpool Council has invested £1m into the airport, including hiring staff, implementing an Instrument Landing System and adding taxi-way lighting.
Since the Enterprise Zone’s allocation in April 2016, a total of 73 companies have set up operations at the site, creating 1,520 jobs, according to the council.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool council and chair of Blackpool Airport, said: “The appointment of an architectural consultancy [brings us] a significant step closer to seeing next-generation development on site and the studies will help to inform the airport team in decision-making and prioritisation of potential future development at the airport.”
Blackpool Airport is in “urgent need of regeneration”, she added. “It is important we get it right from the outset.”
Lawrence McBurney, architect and director at Cassidy + Ashton, added: “We are delighted to have been appointed to the framework agreement. Feasibility studies are a critical phase of any regeneration project and we recognise the important role we will play in helping to shape the future of the Enterprise Zone.”