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Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 16:09 GMT
Devon airport plan faces rough ride
Plans to create a new regional airport in south Devon have been officially unveiled.

The Sutton Harbour company's proposed site is opposite Langage Park, south of the A38 in the picturesque South Hams, east of Plymouth.

Opposition is expected to be fierce from environmentalists as well as Devon County Council which supports the existing Exeter Airport as the county's main airport.

The council has already dismissed the idea as "utter fantasy".


We are not just taking a quick buck

Duncan Godefroy, Sutton Harbour
The company's plans will mean redeveloping the existing Plymouth Airport and Exeter Airport for housing.

Sutton Harbour which runs Plymouth Airport at Roborough, says:

  • The size of aeroplanes landing at Plymouth is restricted because of the runway size

  • The current airport is also in a built-up area, further restricting expansion

  • Swapping South Hams for the Plymouth site would allow more international flights.

Duncan Godefroy, managing director of Sutton Harbour rejected suggestions that the plan was a ploy to build houses on Plymouth Airport.

"We want it to succeed. We are a Plymouth organisation, the success of our business is dependent on the success of the region.

"We are not just taking a quick buck."

Exeter Airport would have to close for the plan to work and Devon County Council thinks that idea is nonsense.

Plan 'distraction'

The council believes that the current Plymouth airport site has a very promising future.

The business community is also sceptical.

Tim Jones of Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said: "It will be very difficult to get get the money together and all the logistics as well as overcome the environmental objections in a reasonable time frame.

"We feel that this will distract from investment decisions that we need to be making now."


Click here to go to Devon
See also:

14 Nov 02 | England
05 Nov 02 | England
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