Bristol Airport inquiry to end tomorrow

Bristol Airport Action Network

Bristol Airport Action Network. - Credit: BAAN

Tomorrow (Friday) is the last day of the ten-week planning inquiry into Bristol Airport’s application to expand. 

It will be marked by a vigil for hope outside Weston Town Hall, organised by Bristol Airport Expansion Network (BAAN) and Extinction Rebellion. Together with representatives from the parishes under the flight paths, Friends of the Earth, Fridays for Future and the Green Party they will stand together to express their hope that the inspectors turn down the airport’s case. 

The Airport is looking to increase the number of passengers from the current limit of 10 million to 12 million people. 

An Extinction Rebellion spokesman said: “Last February North Somerset Council turned down Bristol Airport’s application to add two million passengers per annum by increasing the number of night flights. The Airport appealed. As the Inquiry ends, we believe the parties supporting the original decision have provided robust evidence for the inspectors to turn down permission to expand.”

Caroline New, organiser of the vigil, said: “What we desperately hope for is that the inspectors come to the right decision and uphold democracy. And the right decision is one that maximises the chances of a safe future for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come. 

“There is still just time to stop climate catastrophe. All carbon emissions matter, because they are cumulative, and if any more airports are allowed to expand the UK is unlikely to reach its goal to be net-zero carbon by 2050. And that is a legal requirement.”

Climate campaigners have called for the inspectors to be bold and make history by rejecting the airport’s plans to expand. Climate change has been one of key areas of concern.  

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Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN), feel they presented an unanswerable case that will enable the Inspectors to reject the airport’s appeal. Such a decision involving climate change could be instrumental in reversing the trend of airport expansion in the UK. 

Stephen Clarke, spokesman for BAAN, said: “In making their final decision, it is crucial that the inspectors of the planning inquiry must take into account the science of climate change as well as the overwhelming local opposition to the airport’s expansion plans."

Local campaign groups have highlighted the disadvantages facing local residents and it is felt they clearly outweigh the benefits of a bigger airport.

Hilary Burn from the Parish Council Airport Association said: "The PCAA believe that the evidence we have put forward with other rule six parties, on issues from the climate crisis, more noise night and day, car parking on the green belt, and the inadequate road network surrounding the airport is more than enough reasons for the Inspectors to dismiss the appeal."

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