Deadline looms for comments to be submitted on Bristol Airport's expansion appeal

An artist's impression of Bristol Airport. Picture: Bristol Airport

An artist's impression of Bristol Airport. Picture: Bristol Airport - Credit: Bristol Airport

The deadline is approaching for comments to be submitted for Bristol Airport's expansion appeal.

Comments must be submitted before Monday.

The airport wants overturn the decision made by North Somerset Council last March which rejected its plans to expand passenger numbers to 12 million people per year, up from its current capacity of 10 million passengers. 

The appeal will eventually be heard by an independent planning inspector during a four-week public inquiry which is scheduled for mid-July. 

More than 83 per cent of people who submitted a comment on the original application website objected to the plans for growth, stating reasons including congested roads, increased noise and more pollution from the growth in flights proposed. 

The threat to the natural environment was also a big concern with the loss of greenbelt land for additional car parking and the serious increase in greenhouse gas emissions, which 'would contribute to climate chaos'. 

Bristol Airport said there remains an 'acute need' to provide additional capacity at the airport, and failing to expand 'would constrain investment at the airport, see economic activity displaced from the South West, act as a barrier to overseas investment and result in a reduction in regional connectivity'.

Proposed look of entrance to Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport reveals more details of major expansion plans. - Credit: Bristol Airport

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An airport spokesman said:  “As the UK emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic it is essential that all regions of the country are given the opportunity to grow to their full potential and contribute to the national recovery effort. 

“International trade and connectivity will become increasingly important as the UK completes its departure from the European Union – increasing aviation capacity is essential in delivering this goal.“

Members of the campaign group Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) are angry that the airport’s management has been instructed by its owners, the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, to appeal the original decision.

Bath and North East Somerset and Bristol City Council, have both voted to oppose the airport’s expansion because it is incompatible with their declarations on the climate emergency.

Stephen Clarke, member of BAAN’s coordinating committee as well as a Green Party councillor in Bristol, said: “The result of this appeal will have real consequences for the aviation industry as there are over 20 regional airports around the UK that have plans for growth. The science is clear. 

"We have to cut carbon emissions in every sector of society, so it seems wholly incompatible for the aviation industry to be proposing a massive increase in flights that will pump CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

To submit a comment, email leanne.palmer@planninginspectorate.gov.uk and quote the case number 3259234.

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