Blackpool airport campaigners to oppose energy college plans

Blackpool and The Fylde College's energy college designs
Blackpool and The Fylde College's energy college designs
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Airport campaigners battling to return commercial holiday flights to Blackpool are to object to plans for an energy college.

Blackpool and The Fylde College last month unveiled plans to create an energy college at Squires Gate when it becomes and Enterprise Zone from next April.

Read our full story about the plans here

But the Save the Blackpool Airport group say they will oppose the plans because they fear wind turbines set to be put up as part of the design might prevent the return of jet airliners.

They also say that the plans should be rejected because they involved the demolition of the currently disused international terminal, without giving details of any replacement.

Danny Nicholson, chairman of Save Blackpool Airport said: “It is just not acceptable.

“We believe the wind turbines would present a major problem to air traffic and it will put off any operator from coming back to Blackpool.

“There are so many other green technologies the college could use to make it a centre of green practice, such as ground source heat pumps, heat exchangers and solar panels, we just don’t think tall wind turbines are the right thing for an airport.

“A lot of people are angry because they have been trying to lodge objections on Fylde Borough Council’s website for days but could not.

“It is back on line now but there is only a limited time to lodge comments, by December 18, and this was preventing the democratic process.

“We have been contacted by some of the anti-fracking groups too – they want to object as they believe the energy college will be sued for training in fracking technology which they don’t want and are angry because they could not lodge objections.”

Group vice chairman Rob Blower urged people to object. He said: “This may well be the last chance for not only this group, but the whole community, to have any say in what is happening to our airport.

“If the terminal is to be knocked down (something that we were promised would never happen by Blackpool Council in November 2014 by the way), we must insist that a replacement terminal of similar dimensions is to be built before the original is demolished.”

But Fylde Council said the site was only down for technical reasons.

A spokesman said: “Our website was out of action for a short period due to essential maintenance but it is working normally now.

“People can make their views known on the proposed energy college until December 18.”

But the college has said that research had been carried out over the design.

Daryl Platt, Executive Director, Commercial Development, Blackpool and The Fylde College said: “As part of the ongoing planning consultation process with Fylde Council for the Lancashire Energy HQ we are also engaging with National Air Traffic Control Services to ensure we meet their requirements for air traffic safety.”