Letters calling for Plymouth City Airport to be saved go to Downing Street today
YOUR letters asking the Prime Minister to save Plymouth City Airport are being delivered to Downing Street today.
City MP Alison Seabeck will take a bundle of nearly 400 letters and emails to David Cameron’s door this afternoon.
She will also hand over a petition signed by almost 38,000 people asking for the Government to help the now-closed Plymouth airport.
After the council and The Herald joined forces to launch a letter-writing campaign last month, 285 people put pen to paper, and another 112 sent emails.
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Ms Seabeck said last night: “The strength of feeling is clear.
“Plymouth is the largest city on the South Coast and the economic driver for the sub-region.
“If the Government is serious about supporting economic growth in the South West then it has to look at whether it can do more by investing in essential air links.”
In a letter to the Prime Minister accompanying the bundle, council leader Tudor Evans writes: “In Plymouth, we are extremely keen to play our part in creating a dynamic regional economy and have a plan to accelerate the city’s growth and housing delivery.
“But while we enjoy an incredible location in the South West, we are conscious that in the longer term significant economic improvements need to be made to our connectivity to other cities and London in particular. Re-establishing a commercial airport in Plymouth would boost this significantly.
“The council has made huge efforts – under all political parties – to support this city’s air connectivity since 1980.
“However, the scale of the problem facing regional aviation, and Plymouth airport in particular, is now beyond this council acting alone.”
Cllr Evans launched the letter-writing campaign at a council debate triggered by a save-the-airport petition, organised by campaigners from the group Viable.
The petition – one of the biggest in Plymouth’s history – called for State intervention to save the airport, which was closed last December by Sutton Harbour Holdings, its operators. This summer the company published a masterplan to redevelop this site into a large community, with houses, shops and offices.
Meanwhile, Viable has set up a company to take over and run the airport, claiming that its business plan could make a success of the operation.
Cllr Evans has made it clear that the council will not step in to rescue the airport. But in last month’s debate he said that the land in Roborough would remain protected at least until 2021 under the city’s development framework.
If Plymouth people make it clear they want to keep open the option of having an airport, the protection could be extended to 2031 under the emerging Plymouth Plan.