Airport car park to double in size - but you can't use it

Aerial view of Norwich Airport. Picture: Mike Page

Aerial view of Norwich Airport. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Archant

A car park at Norwich Airport is planned to double in size - but it can only be used by offshore workers. 

Global oil and gas company Perenco has requested permission to up its car parking spaces at the airfield from 50 to 100. 

The business has lobbied the council for more spots in Gambling Close on account of staff who had to heave heavy baggage from long-stay parking to plane.

The business is also seeking to continue using the car park for a temporary period of three years with its permission due to expire on Thursday, September 9. 

Perenco, which has a base at the airport to operate flights for offshore workers, intends to extend the car park to the south and west which is currently unused rough grassland. 

The proposed extension would be gravelled to match the existing car park with a drainage system and lighting bollards. 

Perenco's car park at Norwich International Airport which the company is seeking to expand to 100 spaces

Perenco's car park at Norwich International Airport which the company is seeking to expand to 100 spaces - Credit: Google Maps

A planning statement by the applicant says: "The only available long-term parking option for offshore workers is at the airport’s long-stay car park some 400 metres distance from the approved passenger handling facility or the park and ride facility at a distance of 300 metres away.

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"There is no pedestrian footway or lighting allowing safe access to either the long stay car park or the park and ride car park from Perenco’s hangar 10."

The site was first granted planning permission in 2013 for the temporary car park, but the city council has been imposing three-year time limits on it. 

This was due to the council's understanding at the time that a masterplan would have been adopted to include plans for long-term parking facilities to accommodate Perenco staff and those using hangars. 

A further three-year period was granted in 2016 for the car park.

And most recently, the council granted further temporary permission on March 11, 2020 for a period of 18 months. 

Hellesdon Parish Council has previously raised concerns about the impact of increased volumes of traffic and the implications for road safety from Holt Road to Gambling Close. 

Norwich City Council has recommended approval for the new plans.

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