Bristol Airport expansion plan is thrown out
Bristol Airport's expansion plan to boost its passenger capacity from 10 million a year to 12 million, has been rejected by North Somerset councillors.
The controversial scheme to build a covered pedestrian walkway at the front of the building, more parking spaces and changes to the road layout on the site received 8,800 objections from the public and 2,400 messages of support.
North Somerset councillors voted 18-7, with one abstention, to reject the proposals on grounds that the claimed economic benefits would be harmful to the environment.
The expansion plan attracted plenty of opposition from Green Party councillors in Bishopston and Redland, climate campaigners, youth climate strikers - including children from Bishop Road School (pictured) - and residents.
Redland Councillor Fi Hance says: “Expanding the airport assumes that air traffic is inevitably going to rise at a time when we all need to be flying less, not more. We need to challenge this and Martin Fodor and I are delighted that councillors have seen sense.”
A spokesperson for the Bristol Green Party commented: “Following Bristol's declaration of a Climate Emergency and pledge to go carbon neutral by 2030, led by Greens, all the other authorities in this region followed suit, and hundreds more nationwide. But Bristol Airport’s ambition to expand threatened to make a mockery of that target – the carbon emissions from their proposed extra flights alone would have almost doubled Bristol’s direct emissions.
“It's disappointing that the Mayor – who voted to recognise the Climate Emergency – continued to support airport expansion. As well as more than doubling the number of passenger flights, the airport’s plans would cause severe traffic congestion in local roads south of Bristol, and increased air pollution and noise from thousands more flights per year - it's the most car dependent airport in the country.”
Bristol Airport chief executive Dave Lees said they would reflect and consider whether to appeal or submit fresh plans.