KPPC have been providing planning consultancy services for the operators of the Portland Heliport for a number of years.
Portland has a long history and association with maritime and naval aircraft including helicopters. This site was previously operated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency as a search and rescue facility. HeliOps provided pilots, training and maintenance services to the MCA. When the MCA vacated the site it was taken over by HeliOps, are a privately owned company, who continue to provide helicopter training and ancillary services to military and civilian helicopters as well as providing training for search and rescue pilots and overseas navies.
KPPC initially established the lawful use of the ongoing occupancy and operation of the heliport by HeliOps for use of the land as a helicopter facility including hanger, runway for take-off and landing and associated activities.
We subsequently advised upon the erection of a new hanger and training facility building to significantly enhance the facilities offered at the heliport. KPPC advised on the process and the design then packaged the application for submission to the Council following a positive pre application consultation process.
The determination of the application involved complex issues due to the setting near a Conservation Area and listed buildings, location within an area at risk of flooding, proximity to nearby environmental protection areas along with the normal planning policy issues.
During consideration, the Council requested an Environmental Impact Assessment due to concerns raised by Historic England and Natural England in relation to likely environmental impacts.
The submitted Environmental Statement, prepared by KPPC, demonstrated that there was no harm against the environmental baseline and thus no detrimental impact. The application was fully supported by Officers and received unanimous support at Committee including widespread public support.
KPPC successfully advised the Applicants throughout a whole host of environmental and planning issues towards receiving a positive recommendation and full public support. The manner in which the application was packaged and presented, along with the quality of the supporting information and interaction with the Council, was instrumental in achieving a planning permission which allows the fully unrestricted operation of the heliport.