Council Says It Wants Your Views On Airport Changes

airport nov 2014The Council will be asking you for your views and suggestions on the controversial airport upgrades as they throw open the doors to the public on Sunday 8th February.

At last Thursday’s Transport meeting, Council Chairman Amanda Martin said she was “anxious” to have the airport open day in view of all the correspondence she’s been receiving from people about the airport changes.

She wants a suggestion box for ideas, and said it would be good to publish “the printable ones” so the public feel they have some say.

Last month, former Steamship Company Chairman, Barneslie Ward, described the new terminal as “ghastly.” And some councillors have expressed concern that the changes to the airport were carried out under ‘permitted development rights,’ meaning the plans didn’t need to be approved formally by the Planning Committee.

Senior Development Manager Diana Mompoloki told councillors there was “a very long snagging list” and, only that morning, several leaks had been discovered. But she said the problems should be fixed by the last week in January.

Cllr Martin said following a recent visit to the airport she was aware of problems, like doors that wouldn’t close properly in the wind.

But Cllr James Francis was concerned about the drop off arrangements at the front of the terminal. He said even the country’s biggest airport Heathrow allowed the elderly and children to be driven to the entrance.

He said they “can’t expect to be dropped off 200 yards down the hill then pull heavy bags to airport building.”

Cllr Richard McCarthy said he’d had reports from the Buzza Bus driver of people parking in the disabled bays, although Diana said that was contractors’ vans and they’d soon be gone.

Richard was also concerned about waterlogging on the grass area that will now be used for general parking by the public. He wants the Council to look at a cheap concrete matting system that allows grass to grow through.

And he said he thought it was a shame if “the last thing people see as they’re supping their coffee and eating their bacon sandwich is a wall rather than a sea view,” referring to the high stone wind barrier at the front of the new Airfayre Lounge café.

“Can it be lowered just a bit?” asked Richard, although Council Vice Chairman Gaz O’Neill told him they should wait for the open day and not pre-empt any suggestions and solutions from the public.

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