Carlisle Airport development bid quashed

Carlisle Lake District Airport
Image caption Stobart Air said it plans to submit a new application

A judge has overturned a decision to award planning permission for a freight distribution centre at Carlisle Airport.

Gordon Brown, a farmer from Irthington, took Carlisle City Council to the High Court over Stobart Air's application.

The judge ruled it was not clear that the centre would be used commercially in the short to medium term.

The council said it was disappointed. Stobart Air said it planned to submit a new application.

Mr Justice Collins said the planning judgement "had to be exercised on the basis that short to medium term commercial use was likely to occur".

He also said the issue of the need to pay a subsidy to an airline to attract it to Carlisle was not properly dealt with when the planning decision was made.

Mr Brown said the ruling showed the economic case used as justification for granting permission was "flawed".

He said his concern was that it was the wrong location for a regional distribution centre and the judgement did not stymie the development of Carlisle Airport if it was considered to be economically viable.

The council said it was disappointed at the outcome but welcomed that all but one of Mr Brown's arguments were rejected.

A statement from Stobart said its plans would have created "a huge opportunity for the region".

It said: "We still firmly believe that a thriving Carlisle Lake District airport will provide economic growth and jobs for the people of Carlisle and the surrounding area and to that end we intend to submit a new application taking into account today's finding."

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