Date for appeal over Bristol Airport expansion plans confirmed

BAAN high court appeal

BAAN have long campaigned against the expansion plan - Credit: BAAN

An appeal against the expansion of Bristol Airport will be heard in November.

The Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) have confirmed the two-day hearing of their High Court statutory appeal against the airport’s controversial expansion plans will be held in Bristol on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 8 and 9.

The group said Bristol Airport argued the case should have been heard in London because it was convenient for their ‘legal team’ and Counsel.

However, BAAN said that the hearing should be in Bristol because the airport’s contested expansion plans had a significant impact on the area and the case has generated much local interest.

Holding the hearing in Bristol would give people the opportunity to attend the hearing, they argued.

Earlier this year, plans to increase the airport's current capacity from 10 million to 12 million passengers per year, while adding thousands more parking spaces, were approved by a planning appeal.

In considering the arguments, High Court Judge Mrs Justice Lang, said: "I accept the Claimant’s (BAAN’s) submission that accessibility for local people, who will be directly affected by the proposed development, weighs more heavily in the balance than the convenience of (the Airport’s) Counsel, who expect to travel as part of their work. 

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"Clearly Bristol would be a more convenient venue for local people than London."

After the hearing, one of BAAN's coordinators, Tarisha-Finnegan Clarke, said: "This decision is highly significant for the supporters of the campaign to stop the airport from increasing its passenger capacity from 10 million to 12 million per year.

"So many people and local authorities felt the result of the 10-week public inquiry that overturned the clear vote by North Somerset Council to reject the Airport’s expansion plans, was a huge travesty of local democracy. 

"All of the local councils, WECA and the several local MPs were against it and yet the planning inspectors said it could go ahead.  
"Such was the outcry against the decision of the planning inspectors that we felt compelled to challenge the Airport in the High Court with a statutory appeal.

"It seems only right that the challenge is heard in Bristol."

The venue will be the Bristol Civic Justice Centre, in Redcliffe.