AIRPORT bosses have lodged a formal objection to a planning application from a rival parking firm across the road at Adventure Wonderland.

They say the proposal is inappropriate in the green belt, affects the airport's own strategy and no demand has been demonstrated.

BOMO Parking was granted consent by Christchurch councillors for off-site airport parking last year.

But the firm has been using unauthorised parts of the land not covered by the planning permission.

The firm has now submitted a new application to vary the consent following the threat of enforcement by the council.

Last month members of the airport's consultative committee were told "strenuous overtures" had been made to Christchurch Council to enforce the planning consent.

At the meeting, airport executives said they had no objection to competition or the granting of the consent, but they took issue when the planning permission was not being complied with.

One member said they had reported to the council that the company had started using another field and "could potentially be utilising any other area within the Wonderland facility to park its cars."

Committee chairman, Peter Thorne, said he would write to the council supporting the airport's position.

MP Chris Chope will also be invited to the airport to discuss the matter.

The 75-space parking facility was approved by planners last year despite an officer recommendation to refuse.

They said the scheme would be inappropriate due to the intensification of use within the Green Belt. They also cited the impact of traffic, saying public transport was available to the airport.

But councillors disagreed and gave the go-ahead.

Andrew Murray, planning manager for Manchester Airports Group has written to the council to say use of an unauthorised area has continued and at "an unprecedented rate."

He also says the offsite model can generate twice as many traffic movements as traditional 'kiss and fly' parking on the airport.

"Clearly this strikes at the heart of an objective to minimise and reduce impact on the highway network."

Airport acting in an "anti-competitive way"

JOHN Smith, director of BoMo Parking, said the airport was acting in an "anti-competitive way that constitutes an abuse of their dominant position in the market."

He added: "We work hard to deliver an efficient service that benefits local residents by offering a cheaper alternative to the onsite car parking.

"It's also disappointing to find out that our local council officers and chamber of trade and commerce, who are supposed to support local businesses, have been working with the airport to try and prevent us from operating."

Mr Smith said his firm would make a complaint to the UK's aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority.

It appears the airport are trying even harder to put pressure on the council, using their contacts with other local government organisations and even trying to gain the support of Christchurch MP Chris Chope.

Mr Smith added: "The airport have stated there is no demonstrable need for our service, but our continued success proves there is and without the competition consumers would have no choice but to pay the airport's expensive onsite car parking charges."