Our response to the latest submission from Bristol Airport
Read our response to the latest submission from Bristol Airport’s appeal to expand the airport and the detrimental impact it will have on our local area
CPRE Avon and Bristol have reviewed the updated information submitted by Bristol Airport in respect of its application to increase capacity. We remain firmly of the position that this expansion is unsustainable, economically unjustified, and damaging to the local ecology and tranquillity of North Somerset.
In particular, we note that:
- The revised traffic forecasts do not reflect the reality of the road systems that are already at or beyond tipping point. The Joint Local Transport Plan 4 is currently inadequate to tackle this problem. It remains a plan that is an unfunded wish list with no clear delivery plan. We argue that much of what it contains is a pipedream.
- The level of disturbance caused specifically by permitting 4000 night flights a year has not reduced. In the rural setting of North Somerset, this is a huge and unacceptable impact on the tranquillity of the local area, including to the right of local residents and visitors to enjoy peaceful nights. The likely impact of light pollution associated with night flights is likely to cause further damage to local ecology and to the well-being of local residents and visitors.
- The impact of the COVID pandemic has shown the possibility of successfully managing with less travel and not more, particularly in the case of business travel.
- The fundamental economic assessment has not changed and our Report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) from 2019 still holds true, that the economic claims made by Bristol Airport are seriously overrated and unfounded. The updated NEF report similarly finds that there are still serious and substantive defects in the case made by Bristol Airport to justify the expansion on economic grounds. This includes assumptions about a post Covid 19 world, such as business travel returning to pre Covid 19 levels in the near future.
- The clear statement of Government policy that local and regional airport expansion should be decided by local planning authorities. In this case, not only has North Somerset Council decided that expansion is not compatible with their local policies and circumstances, this view is now supported not only by Bath & North East Somerset Council but also by Bristol City Council, who have re-evaluated their former position of support for the airport expansion, in the light of growing concern about climate change.
- The expansion of Bristol Airport is still inconsistent with the Climate Emergencies declared by North Somerset Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council, and their subsequent Climate Strategies.