Airport fury over homes

Sue Kendrick, head of communications at Blackpool Airport
Sue Kendrick, head of communications at Blackpool Airport
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BLACKPOOL Airport has slammed a council for failing to properly consider the detrimental impact a new housing development could have on the region’s economy.

And in an unusual step Fylde councillors could be asked to reconsider granting approval for 73 homes on the former Pontins site amid fears it will hamper the airport’s ability to grow.

Airport bosses are set to submit a new noise report to Fylde Council this week – and they hope it could be enough to see the case re-opened.

Planning permission for the land, owned by Northern Trust, was granted last month and the Chorley-based company announced this week they hope work on the development – which also includes a 275-home phase one – will begin within the year.

But Blackpool Airport spokeswoman Sue Kendrick said: “The noise report requested is going to be completed and with Fylde Council this week and they will take the decision whether to refer it back to the committee.

“It has to be referred to the Secretary of State anyway because of the greenbelt issue and we will make representations with this as there appears to be a failure to adequately consider the noise implications and the effect on the local economy.

“We hope Fylde Council will see the noise report and realise they have failed to adequately consider the impact because they didn’t give us the time we requested.”

As a formality, the council needs to refer the scheme to the Secretary of State because a small portion of the land falls within the green belt.

Northern Trust is due to begin consulting with housing developers about delivering the scheme and a company spokesman said: “It is hoped that, subject to confirmation from the Secretary of State and completion of a section 106 agreement, work will commence on this important gateway site within 12 months.

“We look forward to working closely with Fylde Council and our development partners to ensure a viable, high quality scheme is delivered as soon as possible.”

Mark Evans, the council’s assistant director of planning services, confirmed the council was waiting for a noise report to be submitted by Blackpool Airport. He added: “As for the case being reopened there’s no requirement to do that, it depends on the findings of that noise report and we will have to wait and see.”

The Clifton Drive North site has been derelict since Pontins closed in 2009.