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Airport 'could still appeal' after expansion plans rejected

There were cheers from campaigners last night after controversial plans to expand Bristol airport were rejected.

North Somerset councillors voted by 18 to 7 against the proposals - mostly over environmental concerns and the potential impact on those living under the flight path.

The plans would have resulted in more flights - including overnight ones - better parking and around 800 new jobs.

The decision last night will now need to be 'ratified' at a future planning meeting because councillors went against the officers' recommendation and rejected the plans.

If the decision is upheld again then the airport will have six months to lodge an appeal which would then be heard at a public inquiry.

Dave Lees, the Chief Executive of the airport, gave us his reaction afterwards saying he was "disappointed" as passengers will now need to travel to places like Heathrow and Gatwick to catch flights

More than 200 people attended the meeting at the town hall and almost 5-thousand watched it from home through an online feed.

Councillor Don Davies is Leader of North Somerset Council, but wasn't part of the planning committee which made last night's decision.

He said "The airport currently handles just over eight million passengers and can still expand to the 10 million passengers a year limit it already has, so more people will still be able to fly from there and the number of people who work there should not be affected.

"What the committee has considered is that the detrimental effect of the expansion of the airport on this area and the wider impact on the environment outweighs the narrower benefits to airport expansion.
"I know some people will be upset by this decision and I am sure that we can reconsider it in future when the airline industry has decarbonised and the public transport links to the airport are far stronger."

Mary Collett, from campaign group Extinction Rebellion welcomed the decision - after previously taking part in action in London in protest at a Government policy which she claims 'is encouraging the expansion of airports' such as at Bristol

Ahead of last night's vote, around 8,000 people commented on the plans for an extra two million passengers a year.

John Adams is a North Somerset resident who lives near to the airport and is a member of the Stop Bristol Airport Expansion group

If the plans had been approved, it would have seen

  • Extensions to the terminal building and canopies over the forecourt of the main terminal entrance;
  • Erection of new east walkway and pier with vertical circulation cores and pre-board zones;
  • 5m high acoustic timber fence;
  • Construction of a new service yard;
  • Erection of a multi-storey car park north west of the terminal building with five levels providing approximately 2,150 spaces;
  • Enhancement to the internal road system including gyratory road with internal surface car parking and layout changes;
  • Enhancements to airside infrastructure including construction of new eastern taxiway link and taxiway widening (and fillets) to the southern edge of Taxiway ‘GOLF’;
  • The year-round use of the existing Silver Zone car park extension (known as ‘Cogloop Phase 1’) with associated permanent (fixed) lighting and CCTV;
  • Extension to the Silver Zone car park to provide approximately 2,700 spaces (known as ‘Cogloop Phase 2’);
  • The provision of on-site renewable energy generation
  • Improvements to the A38 and its junction with Downside Road;
  • Operating within a rolling annual cap of 4,000 night-flights between the hours of 23:30 and 06:00 with no seasonal restrictions;
  • Revision to the operation of Stands 38 and 39;
  • Landscaping and associated works.

To read the full report click here

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