Bristol Airport expansion (for 2 mppa more) public inquiry to will start on July 20th, for 10 weeks
The expansion plans would see passenger numbers grow from 10 million to 12 million a year. The public inquiry into the expansion plans is due to start on July 20 and last 10 weeks. The airport appealed against a decision by North Somerset Council last year to reject its expansion plans. Bristol City Council has also opposed the expansion with North Somerset Council saying it will ‘robustly defend’ the appeal. The inquiry will be held in person and online, via Teams, though requests had been made for it to be online only, due to Covid. Campaigners say any expansion of the airport would lead to higher carbon emissions, congested roads and more plane noise. A number of campaign groups including the Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) , the Parish Councils Airport Association and Stop Bristol Airport Expansion (SBAE) are all set to give evidence at the inquiry. The Planning Inspectorate team will be led by Philip Ware.
Bristol Airport expansion public inquiry to take place later this month
6 JUL 2021
The inquiry is expected to last 10 weeks
A long awaited public inquiry to decide on major expansion plans for Bristol Airport will be held in person and online this month.
The inquiry – to decide whether the airport can increase passenger numbers from 10 million to 12 million a year – is due to start on July 20 and last 10 weeks.
The airport appealed against a decision by North Somerset Council last year to reject its expansion plans.
Bristol City Council has also opposed the expansion, with North Somerset Council saying it will ‘robustly defend’ the appeal.
Campaigners say any expansion of the airport would lead to congested roads, increased noise and more pollution from the proposed growth in flights.
A number of campaign groups including the Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) , the Parish Councils Airport Association and Stop Bristol Airport Expansion are all set to give evidence at the inquiry.
Inquiry inspectors have agreed the inquiry will be a ‘blended’ event and involve a mix of people present in person to give evidence as well as participants joining remotely via Microsoft Teams.
The blended event comes despite Bristol Airport asking for the inquiry to be held completely online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
North Somerset Council had also previously raised concerns about people attending the event in person due to the risk of coronavirus.
But following a meeting last week between those involved in the inquiry, a blended event was decided.
The inspection team will be led by Philip Ware.
A spokesman for BAAN said: “Thankfully the planning Inspectors led by Philip Ware were unanimous that the event would be fully blended with the opportunity for the public to make their views known by either attending in person or by using remote technology.
“Mr Ware made it clear that all persons wanting to speak would be heard and that no-one would be turned away.”
Members of the public want to have their voice heard at the inquiry they should email the inquiry manager, Joanna Vincent at Joanna.Vincent@gateleyhamer.com with a summary of what they want to say and whether they want to attend in person or remotely via Teams.
The inquiry is scheduling to hear public opinions during the first couple of days and it is hoped that further sessions will be organised as the inquiry progresses.
Richard Baxter, a spokesperson for BAAN hit out at the airport’s request for the inquiry to be held entirely online
He said: “It is ironic that Bristol Airport’s inquiry team asked the planning inspectors to exclude the public from attending in person because of coronavirus but they are happy for members of the public to sit without any social distancing on a plane for a couple of hours.
“What is their motive in trying to restrict public access to the inquiry?
“Could it be due to the fact that the majority of people in the area do not want this expansion to go ahead for a whole range of reasons.
BRISTOL AIRPORT EXPANSION EFFECT ON RESIDENTS
He added: ”We very much appreciate that there are logistical challenges in running an Inquiry whilst COVID is still evident in the local community.
“However we are also aware that the legal restriction relating to the virus are due to be relaxed on July 19 with a strong anticipation that requirements on social distancing and the wearing of masks will be dropped.
“The council needs to be clear as to how this might affect the Inquiry in terms of numbers of people permitted to attend in person.”
North Somerset Council rejected the airport’s plans in February 2020.
Nearly 9,000 local people objected to the expansion on the grounds of increased noise and traffic chaos the expansion would bring.
There was also very strong opposition on the grounds of the additional greenhouse gas emissions that more flights would produce as well as the loss of greenbelt land that would be turned into additional parking spaces.
Bristol Live has approached North Somerset Council and Bristol Airport for comment.
Bristol Airport withdraws application to be allowed many more night flights
Bristol Airport is pushing on with its expansion plans, despite withdrawing the application to the DfT to join the UK’s list of “coordinated airports”. The application, which would allow Bristol Airport to operate night flights all year round, has been withdrawn due to the pandemic-driven drop in passenger numbers. It would have given the airport complete freedom to schedule night flights across the year, with the declared intention to increase summer (summer is 7 months) night flights. Flights are currently allowed to operate between 11pm to 7am in the summer season. Allowing more flights at night would improve airline profits and “efficiency” (allegedly). And airport spokesperson said the application for coordinated status is separate from the airport’s expansion plans, and the airport will resubmit the coordinated status application when/if passenger numbers return to high levels – such as numbers in 2019. There is currently an appeal by the airport, against their rejection by North Somerset council last year. There are now 7 airports that have coordinated status, (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City, Luton, Birmingham and Manchester) and this is normally for congested airports. The airport currently has a cap of 10 million annual passengers.
Date for Bristol Airport expansion inquiry is July 20th and will last 16 days
3 FEB 2021
The expansion plans would see passenger numbers grow from 10 million to 12 million a year. The public inquiry into the expansion plans will open on July 20 and is scheduled to sit for 16 days.
The airport appealed against a decision by North Somerset Council last year to reject its expansion plans which would see passenger numbers grow from 10 million to 12 million a year. Bristol City Council has also opposed the expansion with North Somerset Council saying it will ‘robustly defend’ the appeal.
To find out more visit https://www.stopbristolairportexpansion.org.