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Perranporth Airfield wins bid to expand its facilities

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 22, 2012

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The owner of Perranporth Airfield has been given permission to expand facilities at the site despite objections from two parish councils and more than 25 residents.

Cornwall Council planning committee has approved plans to extend the airfield's café and build a three-bay shed for maintenance vehicles.

Licensed pilot Tony Arthur, who manages the operations from the airfield's control tower, sought planning approval on behalf of John George, who owns the airport and founded mobile phone giant JAG Communications.

Permission for the café was granted with the condition that it opens from 8am to 6.30pm.

St Agnes Parish Council and Perranzabuloe Parish Council raised concerns over "creeping" development of the airfield next to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and an increase in traffic and noise.

Elizabeth Bierton, from Perranporth, works at the Zion House Care Home which overlooks the airfield and said in her objection: "The conditions on the café do not stop its overuse.

"The club isn't exclusive or restricted; anyone can join. If they want it to be profitable they will want more people and more traffic going up there.

"It will impact on local people. I'm disappointed; the AONB seems to stand for nothing."

Fourteen people wrote to planners in support of the scheme, many saying it was a pleasant place to socialise and the council should help to stimulate and preserve local business.

No one was available for comment at Perranporth Airfield, but in a recent interview Mr George's son Kevin said the business was struggling as a consequence of high fuel costs, competition from Newquay airport and planning regulations.

He said Perranporth Airfield employed seven people and served as the base for a number of clubs and firms, including Blast Engineering and the Cornish Parachute Club.

"The speed of travel by plane is phenomenal; business people can get to places in a quarter of the time," he said.

"This is a massive opportunity for businesses not to be confined to Cornwall."

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