Eastleigh BC confirms its decision to allow Southampton airport 164 metre runway extension

Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) has confirmed, on 3rd June, its decision to permit Southampton airport’s 164 metre runway extension. The PCU (Planning Casework Unit at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) had an informal agreement with Eastleigh to hold off on the decision while the Sec of State, Robert Jenrick, considered the call in request. The PCU said the planning permission would not be issued until the S106 Legal Agreement was completed. On 14 May EBC told the PCU that they had completed the S106 and would grant permission at the end of May unless they heard back to the contrary, from the PCU … which they didn’t. It is now too late for the application to be called in.  Extinction Rebellion Southampton said the Secretary of State must be held to account for his failure to act on climate grounds. Work on the runway extension could start later this summer. Campaigners have not confirmed whether they will challenge the final decision.

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Work to extend Southampton Airport runway could start this summer

4th June 2021 (Daily Echo)

By Maria Zaccaro @MariaDailyEcho, Local Democracy Reporter

WORK to expand the runway at Southampton Airport could start as early as August this year, it has been revealed.

Airport bosses have asked campaigners not to delay the work to expand the runway by 164m.

It comes as Eastleigh Borough Council formally approved the plans on June 3 after it said the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) did not meet a council deadline to step in.

But campaigners branded the decision as “devastating” and criticised the government.

The borough council said in April it agreed to give the government time to review the proposals.

The council said it then informed the ministry on May 14 that planning permission would be granted by the end of May.

But the council said it received no response and plans were formally signed off on June 3.

It comes as in an email sent to AXO on May 19 and seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the government said: “The application is currently under consideration by the Secretary of State. The department has an agreement with Eastleigh Borough Council that it will not issue the decision notice, on the above application, until the Secretary of State has completed his consideration of the application.”

In a statement AXO said: “We very much regret that the decision to extend the runway cannot now be called in as we do not believe it would have stood up to independent scrutiny.”

Extinction Rebellion Southampton added: “For all those who value the most basic of human rights – to breathe clean air – the failure of the government to call in the proposal represents nothing less than a grievous crime against humanity. The Secretary of State must be held to account for his failure to act not only on the behalf of the citizens of the area but the most at-risk communities in the global South who will be directly affected by this reckless and dangerous contribution to further heating of the planet. ”

Campaigners have not confirmed whether they will challenge the final decision.

But airport operations director Steve Szalay asked them not to.

He said: “We are eager to get on and deliver this essential project. All being well, we could begin a 6-9 month period of runway construction works in August 2021. Sadly though, the permission may still be subject to a legal challenge. I would encourage the opposition groups not to seek any further delay to the delivery of the construction phase – and the 265 jobs that go with it – by seeking to challenge the permission. Unemployment is at record levels after the pandemic and the region desperately needs these jobs as soon as possible. Further prevarication will not necessarily change any ultimate decision, but it will delay the benefits that the region desperately needs.”

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has been approached for comment.

https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/19351690.work-expand-southampton-airport-runway-start-summer/?ref=rss

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See earlier, Eastleigh Borough Council website:

Southampton Airport update

16 April 2021

Following Full Council’s resolution to grant planning permission on 10 April for the runway extension at Southampton International Airport, over the next month officers will be working with the applicant on the drafting of a detailed S106 Legal Agreement to secure strategies and mitigation as set out in the within the committee report. The planning permission will not be issued until the S106 Legal Agreement is completed.

The Planning Casework Unit (PCU) at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government have advised that they have received several requests for the Secretary of State to consider call-in of this planning application. Officers within the PCU have asked the Council whether we would voluntary agree to not issue the Decision Notice until the Secretary of State has assessed the case and decided whether or not to call in the application for a public inquiry.

The completion of the S106 Legal Agreement will not be completed until the middle of May and as such the Council have agreed to this informal request.

https://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/latest-news/southampton-airport-update

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See earlier:

New NEF report shows the climate impact of regional airport plans has been considerably underestimated

See original image in the Guardian article here

For UK to properly take account of the overall climate impact of UK aviation – it needs to consider the emissions from departing AND arriving flights (it currently ignores arriving flights). And also the non-CO2 impacts on climate. Maximum impact is multiplier of x3 (shown here). The multiplier could be x2.

A report by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) says the climate impact of expansion plans at regional airports in England has been dramatically underestimated and would threaten the UK’s legally binding climate commitments.  NEF calculated that proposals to expand 4 airports (Bristol, Leeds Bradford, Southampton and Stansted) will lead to an increase in CO2 emissions up to 8 times higher than the airports previously claimed. This means the alleged economic benefits claimed, from more aviation, were overestimated, as they ignore around £13.4bn worth of climate damage the extra flights could cause. Alex Chapman, the author of the report, said the findings raised concerns about the level of scrutiny the airport expansion proposals had received from government. Alex said: “The secretary of state should step in and conduct an independent review of all four of these proposals and their compatibility with the UK’s climate targets.”  The airports all use unproven and undeveloped technologies to achieve future fuel-efficiency savings. Most airports only took account of CO2 of outbound flights, not of inbound flights, and ignored the non-CO2 impacts of flights.

Click here to view full story…

Southampton Airport update – Eastleigh Council waiting to see if the airport application will be called in

16 April 2021

Following Eastleigh Full Council’s resolution to grant planning permission on 10 April for the runway extension at Southampton International Airport, over the next month officers will be working with the applicant on the drafting of a detailed S106 Legal Agreement to secure strategies and mitigation as set out in the within the committee report. The planning permission will not be issued until the S106 Legal Agreement is completed.

The Planning Casework Unit (PCU) at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government have advised that they have received several requests for the Secretary of State to consider call-in of this planning application. Officers within the PCU have asked the Council whether we would voluntary agree to not issue the Decision Notice until the Secretary of State has assessed the case and decided whether or not to call in the application for a public inquiry.

The completion of the S106 Legal Agreement will not be completed until the middle of May and as such the Council have agreed to this informal request.

https://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/latest-news/southampton-airport-update


Southampton Airport runway extension plans approved by Eastleigh Council

Eastleigh Borough Council has voted (finally at 2.15am!) to agree to allow Southampton Airport to extend its runway by 164 metres. This will lead to larger planes using the airport, and thus flights to more distant destinations, more passengers and higher carbon emissions. 22 councillors voted in favour of the proposals; 13 councillors voted against the plans and 1 abstained.This followed 19 hours of debate. Opponents have fought against the plans not only due to the carbon emissions, but also the extra noise for surrounding areas, and air pollution.  The standard justification for these expansions are local economic benefit, and more jobs – even though the net impact is to encourage more local people to fly abroad on holiday, spending their holiday money there.  It is likely that the number of people affected by noise would go from 11,450 in 2020 to 46,050 in 2033, if the expansion happens.  Officers hoped that increased home noise insulation would help, but that has no impact if windows are open, or when outdoors. There are claims of “1,000 new jobs” – based on experience at other airports, that is very unlikely indeed. The CCC advice is that there should be no net airport expansion; so if one expands, another should contract.  Likely?

Click here to view full story…

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