The appeal of a decision to order an airport parking facility near Belfast International airport to close will be re-heard after a judge quashed the original decision to uphold the order.
Karl Airport Parking, on the Old Ballyrobin Road a few minutes from the airport, faced closure in June after it was given an Enforcement Notice by the Department of the Environment which alleged it was using land for parking even though it was not authorised to do so.
The car park is one of a number in the vicinity of the airport which claim to offer lower prices than many of those facilities on the airport site.
When the DOE’s decision was upheld by the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) Karl took the matter to the High Court and, in a rare occurrence, the Commission’s decision was quashed on Friday, allowing for Karl’s case to be reheard.
Ronnie Stephenson from Karl Airport Parking Ltd, said the decision by Mr Justice Treacy was a welcome one, and added that they will continue to their long-running battle against the threat of closure.
“We thought it appropriate to confirm that Karl Airport Parking continues to be open for business and will continue to provide a more convenient and competitively priced car parking alternative to Belfast International Airport’s virtual monopoly on location and price that would otherwise exist,” he said.
“We would also take this opportunity to confirm that we will continue to challenge any attempts to stop us providing the service and choice that our existing customers and all members of the public rightly deserve.”
While Karl appealed the Commission’s decision on 17 grounds, a spokesman for the PAC said the concession was made on one ground only.
“Namely that possible fallback uses of the site were not fully considered in the Commission’s decision,” said the spokesman. “A fallback use is an alternative use that an appellant would be entitled to carry out if an appeal were dismissed.
“It is quite possible that, had the fallback uses been adequately assessed, this would not have led to a different outcome to Karl’s appeal. However, the Commission is not in a position to say categorically that this is the case.”
The spokesman added that the PAC would hope to hear the fresh appeal as soon as possible.