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Campaigners gain High Court hearing into Bristol Airport expansion

Words: Huw Morris
Bristol Airport / Shutterstock: 1462509977

Campaigners against the expansion of Bristol Airport will be able to challenge the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to grant planning permission in the High Court.

A Planning Statutory Review will take place later this year following an appeal by Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN). The Planning Inspectorate had granted permission for the airport’s plans to expand from 10 million passengers a year to 12 million in February following an inquiry into North Somerset Council’s rejection of the scheme. 

The local authority will not challenge the permission after deciding that a legal challenge through the High Court could only succeed if inspectors are shown to have erred in law and pursuing this would be a high-risk action.

BAAN has raised more than £20,000, through crowdfunding to pay for legal costs to support its appeal.

“The idea that airports can just continue to expand without limit in the middle of a climate and ecological crisis is so obviously wrong,” said BAAN spokesman Stephen Clarke. “If Bristol Airport plans are allowed, there are more than 20 other regional airports who will use the precedent to also expand; why should aviation be in the privileged position of expanding without limit while every other sector is being constrained? How can this country ever meet its legal obligations under the Climate Change Act?”

Image credit | Shutterstock