Eastleigh Council may make decision on Southampton runway extension in March

A final decision by Eastleigh Council, on plans to lengthen the runway by 164 metres (538ft)  at Southampton Airport, could be made by March. The aim is to be able to accommodate larger planes, such as A320s and Boeing 737s for yet more holiday flights, to yet more destinations.  The airport said it expects “to submit additional information regarding its runway extension application to Eastleigh Borough Council later this month. A new public consultation will then follow.”  A council decision, after the consultation, could be by mid-March. Opponents are very aware that the extension will negatively impact the area due to increased noise, and there will be increased carbon emissions. At the start of December 2020 Southampton City Council objected to the proposals on the grounds of noise and climate change.  The airport had around 1.78 million passengers in 2019 (barely higher than in 2009, though the peak was around 2 million in 2017. It hopes to get 3 million annual passengers by 2033. 
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Date set for final decision on long-running Southampton Airport runway expansion saga

Similar plans have already been rejected once, on noise and climate change grounds

15.1.2021

By Maria Zaccaro, Local Democracy Reporter   Hampshire Live 

A final decision on plans to expand the runway at Southampton Airport could be made by March, it has been revealed.

The proposals to expand the runway by 164m (538ft) were expected to be discussed in December last year. The expansion of the runway would accommodate planes such as the Airbus 320 and Boeing 737.

But the final decision on the scheme was pushed back as airport bosses asked to add further information to the plans.

Members of the Eastleigh Local Area Committee will be asked to make a decision on the controversial scheme.

In a statement a spokesperson for the airport said: “Southampton Airport expect to submit additional information regarding its runway extension application to Eastleigh Borough Council later this month.

“A new public consultation will then follow, where the local community and stakeholders will again be invited to share their feedback on its updated proposals ahead of a committee decision, which we anticipate will be in mid-March.”

The news comes as the plans proved to be controversial and sparked a heated debate among residents and Hampshire leaders.

Airport bosses previously said the airport’s future would be in doubt if the plans are rejected.

But campaigners raised concerns over the impact of the runway extension on climate change, noise and the environment.

Last year Southampton City Council objected to the proposals on the grounds of noise and climate change.

Last year Southampton Airport amended the original proposals following a number of public consultations.

Among the main changes were proposals to cap the airport’s growth up to three million passengers per year by 2033.

The airport also proposed to increase the financial support for acoustic insulation to nearby households to £5,000.

But campaigners opposed to the scheme saying it would “cause huge harm to the environment and local people”.

Managing director at Southampton Airport Steve Szalay previously said thousands of jobs and the future of the airport would be hanging in the balance if the plans are rejected.

Business leaders in Hampshire backed the proposals saying “the certainty of the planning permission is essential for the future”.

https://www.hampshirelive.news/news/hampshire-news/date-set-final-decision-long-4893609

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See earlier:

Southampton City Council objects to latest plans by Southampton airport – Eastleigh BC to consider on 17th December

Southampton City Council has objected to revised plans to expand the runway at Southampton airport by 164 metres (538 ft), in order to increase the number of flights and size of planes.  The council voted to oppose the scheme on the grounds of climate change and noise levels.  The city council had previously voted to oppose the airport’s original plans in January. The airport was asked to amend the proposals and Southampton council was asked to confirm its position before a final decision is taken by councillors in Eastleigh – where the airport is located. The latest plans have a few small noise modifications.  Lyn Bryshaw, from the Airport Expansion Opposition group told the online council meeting the development would “cause huge harm to the environment and local people  …The economic benefits for Southampton and the region have been overstated and no evidence at all has been presented to suggest that the airport would go out of business without the extension.” A decision on planning permission is due to be made on 17 December, by Eastleigh Borough Council.

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Southampton Airport extended runway plans to be debated on 17th December

Plans to expand Southampton Airport runway will be considered by Eastleigh Council on 17th December. The airport wants to extend its runway by 164m (538ft) and extend the existing long stay car park to provide an additional 600 spaces. The proposals will be scrutinised at a special meeting of the Eastleigh Local Area Committee. The airport has recently submitted more details of the plans to the council. These include the possibility for the authority to propose a maximum noise cap on the airport. Local opposition group Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) continue to campaign against the plans. As well as the carbon emissions, they fear that new government policy could mean that there would be no noise cap in the future. The airport claims the longer runway is necessary, to keep airport staff employed, as the longer runway would allow larger Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 planes, for holiday destinations in southern Europe. The airport hopes the extended runway could be ready by 2022.  The public consultation will close on November 15. Nearby Winchester Council has said it is still likely to object to the plans, and the recently updated information do not overcome their concerns about the noise impact.

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Protest by opponents of Southampton airport, against the “madness” of its expansion plans

Opponents of expansion of Southampton airport took part in a protest on Saturday 29th, as did many other groups at airports across the UK.  The group say the airport should not be expanding, at a time of climate crisis, and the impact would be a needless increase in carbon emissions, from the extra flights using the airport.  They said  1. The economic case does not stack up, in jobs, house prices or health impacts.  2. The noise impacts of expansion, with many more local people negatively affected.  3. More air pollution will affect local health and mortality rates, from an increase (the airport’s own figures) of 272%  in NOx emissions. 4. No figures have been provided for ultrafine particles, which could be even worse than NOx for human health.  5.  The expansion will contribute to climate change and a ‘carbon-neutral’ airport is a myth; the expansion would roughly double current carbon emissions, and the airport is only looking to offset the relatively small ground emissions, not those from flights.

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Southampton airport runway extension plans would lead to higher CO2 emissions

Plans to lengthen Southampton Airport’s runway (by 164 metres) have come under fire amid concerns over their impact on climate change. The airport’s 2nd public consultation on revised plans has now been launched. Local campaigners Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) said: “A ‘carbon-neutral’ airport’ is like ‘fat-free lard’. It’s just not possible. We need to act now on climate change.  Lower carbon fuels and electric planes capable of carrying significant numbers of passengers are decades away. The airport says extending the runway isn’t about ‘bigger planes’. But its own figures show that it is about flying many more of the bigger, noisier A320 jets than previously. The result of this is, as the new documents show, over 40,000 extra local people being exposed to aircraft noise.” And “Regional connectivity can be maintained with the airport as it currently is, and since most travellers are UK residents heading out on holiday most of the benefit of their travel will be abroad.” The airport claims its future is in doubt (usual stuff about jobs…) unless it lengthens the runway.

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