Park and ride could be built near Bristol Airport

An artist's impression of what Bristol Airport may look like in future. Picture: Bristol Airport

An artist's impression of what Bristol Airport may look like in future. Picture: Bristol Airport - Credit: Bristol Airport

A park and ride car park could be built near Bristol Airport.

Sutherland Property and Legal Services has submitted a formal screening opinion to North Somerset Council as to whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required for the change of use of land from a pony track and agricultural land to use for a park and ride car park with 3,101 parking spaces on land adjacent to Heathfield Park, in Bristol Road.

The proposal would also have an arrival and departure area while roads will be built and a new reception centre also created.

Planning officers said the proposal is ‘likely to have significant effects on the environment having regard to the characteristics, location and potential impact of the development’ and the development constitutes EIA development, meaning an environmental statement will be required as part of any future planning application.

They also cited potential for significant impacts on Mendip and North Somerset bats, the National Priority Habitat, coastal and floodplain grazing marsh, Puxton Moor and road impacts on the M5 motorway.

A similar planning application was put forward by Mead Realisations to build a 3,000-space park and ride on land off junction 21 of the M5 was withdrawn by the airport in January after planning officers recommended it for refusal.

The site is located within Puxton Parish Council’s boundary and it is critical of the airport’s plans.

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Its spokesman said: “Upon reflection, the bulk of airport traffic does not use the A370/Brockley Coombe route. It is signposted off along the Portway in the north and onto the A38 in the south.

“The necessary motorway signs to airport access via J21 is surely going to increase airport traffic onto the A370 route that has no intention of using the park and ride facility.

“After weighing up the pros and cons, members unanimously felt that, on balance, they needed to object to this proposal.”

The airport has applied to the council for a compulsory purchase order 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.