In the News: getting permission for an airport link road

Written by: Colin Marrs
Published on: 23 Nov 2015

Tees Valley airport - copyright Wikimedia

In October, Darlington Borough Council followed Stockton Borough Council in granting planning permission to Durham Tees Valley Airport for a 1.8km airport link road. Peter Rowe, senior planner at consultancy Turley, led work on the applications for the applicant.

Q. How did this one come your way?

Turley has a long-standing relationship with the airport. Over the years we have provided it with planning support on various projects, including its recent airport masterplan. The airport link road was important scheme for the airport, which will help to unlock a regionally significant employment development. As one of the senior planners, I managed the application, with the support of one of our assistant planners, and oversight from a director. 

Q. What is the planning history on the site?

The site to which the link road would run has an existing permission for employment development, but unfortunately an original plan for an alternative link road stalled due to viability issues. The airport had to reconsider its approach and the masterplan introduced the principle of a realigned link road around the end of the runway. 

Q. What were the challenges with producing the new application?

A. We submitted the application in July. Turley informed the design process, working with a suite of technical consultants to address any constraints. 

One big issue was the ecology on the site – there was an important area of grassland habitat along the route. We worked with the ecologist to identify an area where a replacement environment could be used to replace the area lost by the link road.

The new link road would also extend past the end of an operational airfield. We worked with aviation experts to ensure the proposals complied with the relevant airport safeguarding policies and regulations were met.

Q. Were there any other complications?

A. The application crossed the authority boundaries of both Stockton and Darlington Borough Council. Hence, in order to secure planning permission, we had to meet the policies of both councils.We are now discharging planning conditions, and again it is necessary to submit applications to both authorities.

Picture of Durham Tees Valley Airport by Dtvairport at Wikipedia