Plymouth City Airport could become check-in desk for Exeter International
THE council's strategy of asking the Government to save Plymouth City Airport has left it "boxed in and out of control in its plans for Derriford", says Plymouth Civic Society.
The bid for a State takeover was "a forlorn hope", the society says.
Members are calling for all the interested organisations to team up to reach a compromise.
It suggests that Plymouth should recognise Exeter as the international hub airport for Devon and Cornwall but with a ticket/baggage check-in terminal at Roborough.
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The Plymouth Airport Terminal would be served by high-quality dedicated shuttle buses to Exeter.
"The travel time between airports is much less than that between central London and Heathrow/Gatwick/Stansted airports or other conurbations," Richard Sroka of the Civic Society says.
Its plan would require four rival organisations to bury their differences and work together.
Sutton Harbour Holdings, the airport lease-holder, would have to ditch its plans to develop the land at Roborough.
Viable, the group campaigning to take over the airport, would have to content itself with a much reduced project.
Wharfside Regeneration would have to scale back its plans for a major new shopping centre next to Derriford Hospital.
And Plymouth City Council would have to share the development of the old Seaton Barracks site as a new shopping centre.
"Many of the plans proposed by Viable, including hotels and long-term secure parking, would remain in place and the terminal would complement the Roborough transport hub and high quality public transport scheme in the Plymouth Plan," the Civic Society says.
"Previous services offered by Plymouth Airport – including air ambulance, military and private training facilities and domestic services – could then be reinstated."
The society called on Viable to evaluate the economic viability of the terminal option.
The society is scathing about the council's own plans to develop the Seaton Barracks site.
"These will of course never happen. These plans are merely for churning – they completely lack infrastructure and vision – and are based on the false premise that people will explore different modes of transport other than cars to get around Derriford."
The Civic Society therefore hopes to "break this impasse of a zero sum game by suggesting that the council, Sutton Harbour, Wharfside and Viable work together".
Sutton Harbour relinquishes the airport operating lease to Viable and retains a percentage of airport land for housing and retail development.
Viable works with Sutton Harbour and the council to push ahead with the airport terminal.
The council compensates Sutton Harbour for land loss at the airport by exchanging land at its Seaton Barracks site on an equivalent value basis and invites Sutton Harbour to partner its development proposals for a major shopping centre on the Seaton Barracks site.
Wharfside develops its car park at North West Quadrant but foregoes development of retail and office use in competition with the Seaton Barracks site.
Wharfside is compensated in value of its loss at North West Quadrant through partnering Sutton Harbour and the council at the Seaton Barracks site.
"The result", says the Civic Society, "is that Plymouth ends up with one airport, one regional centre, and the commercial entities get their housing, retail units and land, although not quite where they thought it might be originally."
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