Council objects to airport expansion plan

PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 November 2019

Campaigners protesting about Bristol Airport's potential expansion ahead of Weston Town Council meeting at Weston Town Hall.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Campaigners protesting about Bristol Airport's potential expansion ahead of Weston Town Council meeting at Weston Town Hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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Councillors in Weston are against plans to expand Bristol Airport due to environmental concerns, traffic and parking issues and pollution.

An artist's impression of Bristol Airport. Picture: Bristol AirportAn artist's impression of Bristol Airport. Picture: Bristol Airport

Weston Town Council agreed to object to the airport's proposal to boost passenger numbers to 12 million a year by the mid 2020s, expand its car parking and improve onsite infrastructure.

Members of environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion held a protest ahead of Weston Town Council's meeting on Monday, before urging the authority to oppose the plans which they said will have a huge effect on climate change.

More: Bigger terminal planned as Bristol Airport seeks to increase flight routes.

Ben Moss, from the group, said: "There are 18,000 properties at high to moderate risk of flooding in Somerset and we understand we are vulnerable to sea level rise.

"By encouraging and approving the expansion of an airport we ourselves could be exacerbating this carbon cycle which will see climate change increase and water levels rise."

Councillor Mike Bell said the town council should object to the plans on a number of grounds including access and traffic, parking, pollution and environmental impact.

He said: "It's one of the few airports that does not have a rail link. My view is that in this case the expansion shouldn't be permitted. It's not delivered on previous proposals for transport links.

"There are significant issues around illegal parking and the impact of parking on sites around the airport.

"Lastly, we have heard again about environmental implications.

"This council agreed to ambitious plans to carbon neutral status by 2030 which is incompatible with airport expansion."

More: No decision on Bristol Airport expansion until 2020.

Councillor Peter McAleer said supporters claim we will be 'shooting ourselves in the foot' if we oppose the expansion, but he added 'it's better than shooting ourselves in the head'.

Weston Town Council agreed to object to the proposal, before North Somerset Council debates it.

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