Planning Department Halts Airport Camping Events

Plans to offer camping on the airfield for pilots who fly over themselves (see our report here) won’t take off this year.

Councillors have already agreed the proposal by the Airport team, but the Planning Department has now told them they can’t do it without permission.

The first of the two day events in July, which included under-the-wing camping and a barbeque, has been called off.

Airport staff who planned the event said they were doing it with best intention – to encourage a new sector of the community to visit.

But Chief Planning Officer, Craig Dryden, says that, while in most areas you could offer temporary camping without this extra permission, our conservation area rules override that.

However, the issue does raise questions about the level of communication between Council departments.

If the under-the-wing event ever gets before planners it may get a turbulent ride.

We’ve been contacted by some people in the tourism sector who may object as they feel visitors should be encouraged to stay at existing accommodation.

Island Tourism hasn’t canvassed members yet but Co-Chair Euan Rodger says they will offer an opinion if the idea goes before the planning committee.

The last temporary planning approval for a campsite was given for the 2005 Camel Rock event but wasn’t taken up in the end.