Airport campaigners call on Government

PUBLISHED: 11:00 30 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:39 25 May 2010

CAMPAIGNERS against the hotly-contested airport expansion are now demanding the Government step in and take control.

CAMPAIGNERS against the hotly-contested airport expansion are now demanding the Government step in and take control.

Protestors fighting the growth of Bristol International Airport (BIA) are pleading for help to stop the £150million development going through.

Stop Bristol Airport Expansion (SBAE) supporters asked the Government office of the South West (GOSW) to step in and refer the decision on the airport's plans to the Transport Secretary.

SBAE said it decided to request a 'call-in', which would result in a direct decision from Government, or a public inquiry, as they believe the consequences of the decision, such as the impact of increased traffic, noise and carbon emissions, stretch beyond North Somerset Council's area of control.

SBAE spokesperson and chair of the parish councils' airport association, Hilary Burn, said: We recognise the value of BIA as it now stands but its growth in recent years has also been extremely damaging to its neighbours and the environment.

"We believe that because the uncertainties, impacts and scale of this application are so immense and extend far beyond North Somerset's borders, this application should be referred to the Transport Secretary.

"We are calling for the airport's planning application to be turned down or at least capped at eight million passengers a year, with no further development until improvements in public infrastructure are delivered and greenhouse gas emissions can genuinely be reduced in line with the Climate Change Committee's report aimed at limiting aircraft emissions to 2005 levels."

BIA planning and environment director, Alan Davies, said there is no need for the Transport Secretary to intervene in the process and that this is 'simply delaying tactics'.

He said: "North Somerset Council has already invested considerable time and resources in a thorough process, including public consultation, detailed review by planning officers, independent technical advice and consideration of the planning application by three different area committees.

"We remain committed to working towards a mutually-agreed outcome, determined locally."

A decision on the expansion is expected at the south area committee meeting on March 3.

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