£150m Bristol airport scheme tests Cameron

Aaron Morby 13 years ago

Plans to expand Bristol airport have been given the green light by North Somerset councillors.

Due to the scale of the development within a green belt area, the application must now be referred to the Secretary of State.

The controversial plan to double air traffic will be an important test of the Government’s resolve to give more decision making power to local people.

It has faced fierce local opposition with some 5,000 campaigners objecting to the plan, despite the airport’s owners claim it will create 4,000 jobs and inject £340m into the local economy.

Eric Pickles, secretary of state for Communities and Local Government, can either allow the council to go ahead and issue its decision or ‘call in’ the application and hold a public inquiry.

A local West Country contractor told the Enquirer: “This will be very interesting. The Prime Minister David Cameron cancelled huge plans to expand airports in the south east saying regional airports should be prioritised.

“This is a prime case for expansion but there is strong opposition in the area.”

North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox had written to North Somerset Council stating he cannot support the expansion until the “increasingly unsatisfactory traffic problems are dealt with”.

Councillors voted 10 in favour and two against supporting the airport expansion.

The 260-page planning report contains more than 60 conditions including a restriction on night flights and a contribution of more than £5.5m for local transport improvements.

This includes £4.1m towards the cost of a new link road between the A370 and the A38.

The approval will enable the airport to expand the existing facilities to handle 10 million passengers per annum by 2019/20.

The project includes an extended passenger terminal, new passenger walkways, 2 multi-storey car parks, a public transport interchange and new aircraft stands.

The scheme also provides on site renewable energy generation from wind turbines and a biomass facility, which generates heat for the expanded facilities.

Entec was appointed as lead planning and environmental consultants for the project and have been working with Bristol Airport since 2005.

Clive Harridge, director at Entec said: “The airport has listened carefully to the local community in preparing the proposals and will continue to do so while the development is being implemented.”

Expansion details

1    Expansion of the Passenger Terminal
The existing terminal will be extended to the east and west, doubling the size of the building and delivering increased capacity at security and immigration, and improving passenger comfort levels.
2    Aircraft Parking
Additional space will be required to accommodate aircraft, so the existing apron (the area on which aircraft are parked) will be extended to the east and west.
3    Walkways
Two walkways (or piers) will serve the extended aprons, enabling passengers to walk between aircraft and the terminal building and reducing the use of buses to board and disembark flights.
4    Additional Car Parking
Alongside challenging targets for increased public transport use, some new car parking facilities will be required.  Development will be concentrated on the north side of the airport.
5    Public Transport Interchange
Using the top level of the multi-storey car park, a new public transport interchange will provide convenient pick and drop off facilities for buses and coaches.
6    Fuel Storage
A new underground storage facility for aviation fuel will be located in the north west corner of the long stay car park.
7    Office Building
Located to the east of the existing control tower, office space will be used by airport and airline staff.

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