Bath & North East Somerset Council has condemned Bristol International Airport’s decision to appeal refusal of its planning application to increase capacity from 10 to 12 million passengers per year.
Councillors in North Somerset turned down the airport’s expansion plans earlier this year saying the increase in aircraft and traffic would have a detrimental impact on the local area and the environment.
Bath & North East Somerset Council were consulted as a neighbouring planning authority and objected on highways issues. The council also made it clear that having declared a Climate Emergency, expansion of the airport would be incompatible with its goal to achieve carbon neutrality within the next decade.
However, the airport has now formally lodged an appeal against refusal of planning permission.
Councillor Sarah Warren, joint cabinet member for Climate Emergency, said: “We are extremely disappointed that Bristol International is appealing against planning refusal. At a time when we are facing a Climate Emergency, we are resolute that the economic benefits of an increase in passenger numbers are clearly outweighed by the detrimental impact on the environment. More flights would result in more emissions from both aircraft and traffic heading to and from the airport impacting residents in Bath and North East Somerset.
“With the ongoing impact of coronavirus and the current uncertainty surrounding future travel behaviour and as a consequence the airline industry itself, it seems highly unlikely that the passenger increases predicted by Bristol International Airport will be met. We therefore, urge that the appeal by the Airport is rejected.”
The airport is currently allowed 3,000 night flights in summer and 1,000 in winter and has applied to increase this to 4,000 throughout the year from Summer 2021.
For more information about the council’s Climate Emergency declaration visit https://www.bathnes.gov.