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Bristol Airport lodges appeal against airport expansion refusal

Words: Huw Morris

Bristol Airport has appealed against North Somerset Council’s rejection of its application for expansion.

The airport's proposals to increase capacity from 10 million passengers to 12 million a year, while adding thousands more parking spaces, were rejected in February after the council decided the environmental and social costs outweighed the economic benefits.

“The decision to refuse the planning application was contrary to the recommendation of the council’s own planning officers,” Bristol Airport said.

“The plans to expand capacity at the airport will offer passengers more routes and flights from the South West directly, create jobs, facilitate inward investment and inbound tourism, and support greener and more sustainable, regional economic growth.

“As the UK emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is essential that all regions of the country are given the opportunity to grow to their full potential and contribute to the national recovery effort.

“International trade and connectivity will become increasingly important as the UK completes its departure from the European Union – increasing aviation capacity is essential in delivering this goal.”

However, Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN), which campaigned against the expansion, said it would be gathering a legal and expert team to give evidence on the impact of aviation on climate change at the appeal.

“This is an example of a business completely in denial about the catastrophic climate changes that are hurtling our way,” said BAAN Coordinating Committee member Tarisha Finnegan-Clarke.

“BAAN will be using this appeal to argue for radical transformation. The result of the appeal will test our government’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and their own legally binding carbon targets.”

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