A company is “delighted” after being told it won’t need planning permission to use Portland helicopter base as a training site.

Heli Operations purchased the former coastguard helicopter base at Osprey Quay in 2016.

As reported by the Echo in September last year, disagreement surrounded plans for the base to be put back to use again as Heli Operations submitted a certificate of lawfulness proposal to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

The company already had planning permission to use the site as a search and rescue facility, but the council had raised concern over whether the proposed use for the site was the same as when it previously hosted the coastguard helicopter, stating the base would change use in its new role.

WPBC has now announced that Heli Operations has been granted a certificate of lawfulness and will not need to apply for further planning permission.

In a statement, Heli Operations said: “Heli Operations is absolutely delighted at the decision, which we believe is good for Portland, Weymouth, the local economy and HeliOps.

“We now look forward to developing other opportunities and further business growth. An example of which is the recent arrival of the second set of German Navy SAR students.”

Two Sea King Mk5 helicopters are set to be re-deployed to carry out search and rescue training operations solely for the Royal Navy, and will be based at the Portland site.

The coastguard helicopter which previously used the base was axed in June last year, despite a 100,000-strong petition to keep it,

Cllr Ray Nowak, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s spokesman for environment and sustainability, said: “A certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Use is a statutory process where an applicant can provide evidence to obtain a formal decision on whether their proposed use requires planning permission.

“Our officers considered this evidence and sought legal advice. Following the information provided by the applicant, the proposed use of the land for continued use as a helicopter facility including hanger and runway for take off and landing has been deemed to be lawful.”