Bristol Airport expansion plans shot down by council

A computer render of what the expanded Bristol Airport might look like. Picture: Bristol Airport

A computer render of what the expanded Bristol Airport might look like. Picture: Bristol Airport - Credit: Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport’s controversial expansion plans have been thrown out.

At a special meeting of North Somerset Council's planning committee held this evening, councillors voted by a majority of 18 to seven against the airports proposals to expand their facilities in order to accommodate an additional two million passengers a year.

Cheers could be heard from the public gallery as the decision was made as anti expansion campaigners celebrated.

20 members of the public presented arguments for and against the expansion

Speaking on behalf of those objecting to the plans Lawyer Edward Remain said the airport could not justify the environmental impact the expansion would have on the area especially in light of recent steps taken by local councils to tackle climate change.

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He said: "There are clear reasons for refusal on the basis of climate change.

"Any gains made by the council in tackling this would be trashed by this application."

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Bristol Airport CEO David Lees said the airport's expansion would create 800 jobs and that the expansions benefits had not been overstated and that their extensive package of mitigating measures would ensure impact on nearby villages and the environment would be minimal.

The proposals would have seen more than 97,000 flights arriving and departing the airport a year, 23,800 flights mre than in in 2017.

The plans submitted in December last year received more than 11,000 public comments, including 8,473 objections and 2,417 letters of support before the consultation closed on Thursday.

Ahead of the meeting council officers released a 175 page report recommending the expansion for approval.

However, the plans have faced stiff opposition from several groups including Stop Bristol Airport Expansion, Bristol Airport Action Network, and Extinction Rebellion who held three days of protest in the run up to today's decision.

North Somerset MP Liam Fox had also questioned the viability of the expansion in a letter to North Somerset Council chief executive Joanna Walker in which he said although the airport was a great amenity it could not be allowed to expand indefinitely and doubted the expansion would benefit the local economy.

The decision will now be ratified at a meeting of the Planning and Regulatory Committee meeting on (), if passed the airport will then have six months to lodge an appeal.

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