Building on Blackpool Airport would be economic vandalism, says MP

FYLDE MP Mark Menzies has told the Commons that Blackpool Airport has a viable future as a commercial airfield and must not be redeveloped.

During a debate he said turning the 400-acre site over to housing or retail developments would be “economic vandalism”.

The Airport was closed by owner Balfour Beatty last month after it failed to find a buyer. It is now in the hands of liquidators who are still seeking to sell the assets.

Mr Menzies said: “Blackpool Airport is around 400 acres and I have been told a viable airport business on the site would only require around 220 acres to maintain an airport service.

“This leaves over 100 acres which may be suitable for commercial development and, if done in a carefully planned way, will not only raise capital for the airport’s development but also attract new businesses that seek to use the runway and hangar facilities.

“But may I make it crystal clear: if any developer is seeking to buy the airport viewing it as a glorified brownfield site simply to redevelop the land in its entirety for housing, retail or commercial use, this is something I would find completely unacceptable and I would fight every step of the way. Such an act would be tantamount to economic vandalism.”

The airport was losing around £2m a year and the council, which held 5% of the shares, blamed an “onerous” contract with airline Jet2 for the trading difficulties.