Campaigners ‘appalled’ by airport’s attempt to buy land near site for improvements


- Credit: Archant

Campaigners are ‘appalled’ by Bristol Airport’s attempt to buy 22 pieces of land near the site.

The airport has applied to North Somerset Council for a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on 22 pieces of land around the A38, near the Airport Tavern pub and Downside Road, which will be used to improve access into the airport and turn the single carriageway road into a dual carriageway.

The order was made despite the fact the airport submitted an appeal against its rejected expansion plan last month.

The Stop Bristol Airport Expansion (SBAEx) Campaign believes the Airport is submitting the CPO now in an ‘attempt to sway the outcome of the inquiry’.

MORE: Park and ride could be built near airport.

John Adams of SBAEx said: “Logically, the public inquiry would take place and the airport would apply for the CPOs if it wins the appeal.

“The works to the A38 and Downside Road are primarily to accommodate additional traffic generated by the expansion.

“Nearby homeowners concerns also include further loss of green belt, increased urbanisation, and yet more traffic through narrow, rural roads, with increased fly-parking in fields, laybys and residential roads

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“So Bristol Airport is assuming the inspectorate will overturn the council decision to refuse planning permission.

“The airport’s arrogance and contempt for its neighbours and for the democratic process is deeply concerning.”

SBAEx is urging people who oppose the CPO plan to write to Secretary of State, Grant Shapps, before the closing date of October 16.

In a statement of reasons, the airport said the CPO is ‘necessary in order to ensure the highway works can take place in a timely manner’.

The statement said: “The planning officer’s report for the council’s committee back in February concluded that the works would improve traffic flow and safety in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

“As a result, the highway works are required to allow delivery of the scheme.

“The analysis undertaken identifies that the full works are required to be implemented as soon as growth beyond 10 million passengers per year is expected.

“Alternatives to the highway works’ design were considered but it was concluded that the works represent the most efficient design to meet the requirements.”