Airport car park set for expansion?

Bristol Airport.

Bristol Airport. - Credit: Archant

Bristol Airport hopes to fight the ‘worsening’ problem of unauthorised countryside parking by bringing forward the expansion of a major car park.

The airport is planning to expand its silver zone car park to create an extra 3,650 spaces, which it says will be used during the summer months.

It gained planning permission to develop the area in question in 2011 as part of its wider expansion plans, but conditions specified work could not start on the development until the first phase of a multi-storey car park to the north of the terminal was completed.

The airport now says it wants to expand the car park, while simultaneously working on the multi-storey, in order to reduce unauthorised parking in nearby fields.

It also says this would be better than developing the multi-storey first, as the airport will have to charge higher parking prices for this car park to offset its building costs.

The airport’s planning team has contacted North Somerset Council to see if it needs to carry out an environmental impact assessment before applying to change the planning conditions.

It said: “The pattern of passenger growth since planning permission for the airport’s expansion was granted has evolved, with higher demand at the peak and increased penetration in parts of the airport’s catchment area which are currently relatively poorly served by public transport. This has resulted in the proliferation of unauthorised off-site car parks, particularly during the busiest summer months, and this problem appears to be worsening.

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“It is proposed the extension to the silver zone car park be brought forward and developed while construction of a first phase of the multi-storey car park is underway.”