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North Somerset Councillors have given the go ahead for expansion plans at Bristol airport, subject to a total of 70 planning conditions and a legal agreement that would see the airport giving millions of pounds towards improving transport links in the area.
There will also be a restriction on the number of night flights and passenger numbers limited to 10 million a year.
Because the Airport is on green belt land the Secretary of State will now have the final say on the plans.
Click HERE to see the Council's decision.
Bristol Airport have given Heart this statement:
In approving this application (subject to referral to the Secretary of State and a Section 106 Agreement) North Somerset Council has recognised the positive role played by Bristol Airport in the South West.
The Council’s decision secures the future of the Airport and its contribution to the region for the next 10 years and beyond, delivering more jobs, more inbound visitors and better access to air travel for business and leisure passengers.
The current plans to develop and enhance facilities at Bristol Airport are the result of many years’ work. Public consultation has taken place at every stage of the process, resulting in significant changes to address issues raised by local people. Going forward, Bristol Airport is committed to working with North Somerset Council and other local stakeholders to ensure environmental effects are controlled and mitigated and that the local community shares in the success of the Airport.
We are confident the Secretary of State will endorse North Somerset Council’s decision, recognising that it has been reached after a thorough and fair local process.
Working together, we can develop a world class airport in North Somerset.
This was the reaction from the Stop Bristol Airport Expansion group:
Stop Bristol Airport Expansion today said it would be urging the Secretary of State 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 airport’s 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 region’s economy and for the country’s 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 airport’s 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 government’s 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.