Airport protest hits roof

PUBLISHED: 03:28 14 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:21 24 May 2010

PROTESTORS took to the roof at a council building last week to campaign against plans to expand Bristol International Airport. Members of the South West Climate Action group staged a protest at Somerset House in Oxford Street, Weston. Banners were unfur

PROTESTORS took to the roof at a council building last week to campaign against plans to expand Bristol International Airport.Members of the South West Climate Action group staged a protest at Somerset House in Oxford Street, Weston. Banners were unfurled and leaflets handed out after they handed in their letter of objection against the airport's master plan, an application for which has been lodged with North Somerset Council.Protestor Briony Bell, aged 24, from Bristol, said: "Aviation gases cause 10 times more pollution than car fumes and, with Bristol International Airport's plan to increase flights per day, this will not only have an effect on climate change but it will cause massive noise pollution and drain the local economy, with people travelling abroad to spend money. Tourism in towns like Weston will suffer."Fellow protestor, Natasha Machin, aged 27, from Bristol, said: "We feel responsible for our future children and grandchildren and want to speak out. Hopefully now we can make a difference."The protesters were met by North Somerset Council's executive member for strategic planning, and transport, Councillor John Crockford-Hawley. He said: "I will personally ensure the group's letter gets to all councillors."The protests were welcomed by the Stop Bristol Airport Expansion (SBAE) campaign who have said the master plan's research and figures are out of date.SBAE's spokesman Jeremy Birch said: "BIA is trying to make its carbon dioxide emissions look tiny and any increase insignificant when in fact, if the expansion goes ahead, by 2019 the airport's emissions will blow away all other efforts to cut the region's emissions."The master plan is in the consultation stage and will be considered at the council's planning and regulatory meeting on January 18 at the Town Hall, Weston.

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