Blackpool Airport terminal to face the bulldozers

An artist's impression of how Blackpool and The Fylde College's energy HQ might look
An artist's impression of how Blackpool and The Fylde College's energy HQ might look
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Blackpool airport’s international terminal is set to go next month after planning permission for demolition was granted.

An application to take down the terminal built in 1995 was submitted by airport owners Balfour Beatty to Fylde Council as part of a future plan to use the site for a new energy college.

The council used delegated powers to approve the decision which will see the removal of building and two portable cabins once used by hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers heading for the sun when commercial airline Jet2 flew from Blackpool up until October 2014.

Then the airport was temporarily closed after its operating company ran up debts of £35m but reopened for limited commercial flights in April 2015.

Blackpool and The Fylde College has submitted plans for a two storey college building constructed with 40 solar panels and 12 solar thermal water heating panels plus two 12m high wind turbines.

The plans were opposed by campaign group Save Blackpool Airport which wants to see a return of commercial jets to Squires Gate as they said the turbines could interfere with radar and there were no plans submitted for a replacement terminal. Rob Blower from the group said the planning decision was disappointing.

He said: “We wrote opposing this decision, but as soon as Balfour Beatty removed all the equipment and conveyor belts in the auction last summer we knew the building would be taken down.

“Although we have been told there is going to be a replacement terminal they have given no indication of its size.

“If they really wanted to get commercial flights back they would build a terminal and then seek airlines but we think they will only look at building one if an operator is keen to come forward.”

The National Air Traffic Services group has written to the council to object to the plans saying that the wind turbines would interfere with aircraft radar transmissions.

Today Blackpool and The Fylde College said it had withdrawn the part of its plans relating to the turbines.

A spokesman said: “Blackpool and The Fylde College has chosen to withdrawn this element of the application, not because of NATS or flicker issues. This has been done to avoid delay to the overall application while we continue to work together with planners and consultees on other issues of visual amenity and then determine whether a separate application for the wind turbines is appropriate.”

The spokesman said that it would still be a leading exponent of green technology with other sustainable technology such as solar electric, solar thermal, rainwater harvesting, smart metering and a living green wall.

A spokesman for Fylde Council said: “Permission has been granted for the demolition. Before a decision can be made on the energy college, the council would need to see plans for a an interim terminal.”