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As the third planning application for Carlisle airport brought by the Stobart Group is due to be reviewed this month, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is experessing their support for the project.
Commenting on the latest developments in the on-going saga of Carlisle airport, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Rob Johnston, pictured said: “The report by district auditor Karen Murray highlights the need for us as businesses once again to mobilise, get behind Stobarts and the airport, and send in letters of support at this next stage of the planning application.
“Incredibly, it seems that in pushing for progress Maggie and Mike have been accused of exerting undue pressure.
“We don’t expect Mike and Maggie – or indeed Maggie’s successor – to be impartial. It’s our view that it’s for them to show leadership and push for developments like the airport to happen. We expect them to push, supported by the business community, for what’s been agreed for Carlisle – that is, growth. And we should all push for more efficient processes that can deliver such outcomes more quickly.
“The issue highlights that as a matter of urgency, if we’re going to grow our economy and create, and indeed safeguard, jobs we need to simplify the planning regime.
“If our political leaders and chief executives aren’t in a position to accelerate the process then the issue is even worse than we thought.
“We all, like the district auditor, want “integrity and transparency”. But it appears to business that there’s little open and transparent about the planning process, which seems to be less of an exact science and more of a mystic art.
“The current situation affects the ability of business to plan and to invest. It seems that too often planning delays developments until they’re no longer commercially viable and don’t happen anyway, or businesses give up and go elsewhere.”
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