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Council moves closer to airport legal action

08 February 2024

Plymouth City Council says it is “disappointing” it has not received the assurances it requested in a letter to the Sutton Harbour Group (SHG) to highlight that Plymouth City Airport Ltd (PCAL) – a company owned wholly by SHG – is in breach of its lease covenants.

As Sutton Harbour Group (SHG) has failed to provide the Council with the reassurance the authority requires that it will comply with its leases for the Plymouth City Airport site, the Council has now served SHG a formal legal notice.

The Council asked PCAL to confirm that it will comply with the leases within 14 days. That deadline has now passed and the Council are not satisfied that PCAL will comply with the requirements of the leases. Therefore, the Council, as freeholder of the site, is taking the next step, providing PCAL with one last chance to remedy the situation.

If PCAL do not remedy the breaches, then the Council will be able to move forward with legal action to bring the leases to an end.

Council leader Tudor Evans said: “This is disappointing. Despite our multiple attempts over the past few years to reach an agreement – we seem to have reached an impasse.

“The clock is ticking and time is running out. We will continue working behind the scenes, but in the meantime we are giving PCAL one last chance to get their house in order and abide by the original leases they signed.  

“As I have said before, we are a major city, we have ambitions to grow and thrive and an airport must be part of that story.”

The Council made a number of attempts over several years to progress discussions about the airport, including efforts to merge the lease.