Campaigners demand Bristol Airport inquiry

24.5.2010 (Stop Bristol Expansion press release)


Stop Bristol Airport Expansion Says Climate Change Could Still Scupper Plans

Stop Bristol Airport Expansion today said it would be urging the Secretary of
State, Eric Pickles,  to hold a public inquiry into the expansion of Bristol Airport,
following referral by North Somerset Council.

Councillors on the Planning and Regulation Committee voted to approve the expansion
plans, subject to conditions, including referral to the Secretary of State.   North
Somerset is asking the Government to consider the impact of the expansion on climate
change – and to rule on airportʼs plans to build a car park on the green belt.

Stop Bristol Airport Expansion spokesperson Jeremy Birch said:   "We believe the
Secretary of State must now send this decision to a public inquiry – and we will
be calling for that. Expanding Bristol Airport has major implications for the
regionʼs economy and for the countryʼs climate emissions. These must all be taken
into account. There is currently no valid policy to support approval, leaving
the decision open to legal challenge.

"Obviously it is disappointing that North Somerset Council did not recognise
the damaging impacts of the planned expansion by refusing permission. But the
fight is not over. This is about far more than cheap holidays for local people
– it is about national transport policy and how we tackle climate change – and
we are confident

that the Secretary of State will recognise that."

The airportʼs application to increase passenger numbers to 10 million by 2019
would lead to a 125% increase in CO2 emissions from flights at the airport. The
UK is committed under the Climate Change Act to cutting CO2 emissions by 80% by
2050.   A recent High Court ruling on plans for a new runway at Heathrow Airport
found that

the former governmentʼs Air Transport White Paper failed to comply with the requirements
of the Climate Change Act. The new coalition government has subsequently ruled
out a new runway at Heathrow.

Plans to expand Bristol Airport were based on the same out-dated Air Transport
White Paper – which outlined the potential for development at regional airports
across the UK. According to the High Court ruling, the economic and capacity issues
must now be reconsidered bearing in mind the impacts on climate change.

Contact: Helen Burley, tel: 07703 731923


see also

Bristol Airport expansion given go-ahead

 24th May 2010         Multi-million pound plans to expand Bristol Airport have been passed by North
Somerset councillors. The £150m scheme was recommended for approval by 10 votes
to two. Campaigners have argued that a 60% increase in passenger numbers up to
10 million per year was too high. More than 5,500 comments were submitted during
a consultation of which 5,180 objected to the plans. The approval will have to
be referred to the Sec of State at DCLG (Pickles) because some development is
on green belt land.   Click here to view full story