Advertisement


Airport Master Plan for next 30 Years - Consultation

TheLocalYokel

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 14, 2009
12,255
343
Wurzel Country
IMPORTANT!! To reduce spam, we request that you make a post soon after completing your registration. We request you keep your account active by posting regularly. Inactive accounts risk being deleted.
Yes
The chairwoman of Wrington Parish Council was on BBC Radio Bristol this morning to publicise two meetings being organised by the parish council, both in All Saints Church in the village; the first at 2pm today and the second at 7.30pm next Tuesday.

The parish council believes that the airport’s expansion/master plan consultation process was flawed in that too few people were aware of it and consequently the drop-in events did not attract many visitors. The parish council asserts that the elderly, who are more likely not to be Internet-connected, were particularly affected.

The parish council also believes that the current planning application to raise the passenger limit to 12 mppa is being rushed as the deadline date for comments to the local authority is towards the end of this month and, with the Festive Season intervening, the realistic time period for submissions was even less.

Representatives of North Somerset Council and Bristol Airport together with the local MP were invited to the two meetings but all declined. The local authority was unable to attend as there is now a ‘live’ planning application and no doubt any public utterance would be improper, and the MP is one Liam Fox, who is involved in weightier matters at the moment with Tuesday an especially important day.

The airport says it has already consulted widely. I’m a bit surprised at the airport’s non-attendance, bearing in mind the importance they attach to local community affairs which is reflected in all manner of schemes they have initiated. Furthermore, those attending the parish council meetings will almost certainly hear only one side of the argument, ie that of expansion opponents. Surely it's an opportunity missed for the airport to put its case again in the village in whose parish the airport is situated. I think the airport has a strong case but it needs to be heard as widely as possible.

I’ve found the master plan/expansion public consultation process a little confusing as they seem to have changed the timeline along the way and included an additional 'leg' that was not mentioned at the beginning. In November 2017 when the master plan process was announced this statement appeared at the top of the explanatory document.

We are now preparing our own strategic plan for the coming decades, and this consultation represents the first step. After listening to you we will prepare a Draft Master Plan for further consultation in spring 2018. We aim to publish the final Master Plan in the winter of 2018/19.

The draft master plan was not published in the spring of 2018, but a second consultation process was launched instead. The draft master plan is now expected to be published ‘in 2019’ according to the airport website.

In the meantime the airport has submitted a planning application that would raise the limit to 12 mppa. Some of the matters contained in the planning application were subject of the two consultations and which have not materialised in the draft master plan because it is yet to be published. When it is it will go out for further public consultant before a final master plan is formulated.

In other words it could be argued that the airport has jumped the gun and included elements in its planning application that would have been expected to have been publicly consulted on in the draft master plan.

I understand why they have submitted the planning application now. A final planning process decision could take a year or more to resolve if it involves legal challenges, appeals, a public enquiry; therefore a later application might have seen the airport kicking its heels with 10 mppa (the current planning limit) already upon it. The airport would have known about this in November 2017 when their master plan process began and could have made it clearer that a planning application involving some of the matters being publicly consulted on might have to go forward before the consultation process was complete.
 

Advertisement


TheLocalYokel

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 14, 2009
12,255
343
Wurzel Country
IMPORTANT!! To reduce spam, we request that you make a post soon after completing your registration. We request you keep your account active by posting regularly. Inactive accounts risk being deleted.
Yes
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-airport-expansion-greenbelt-just-2436614

Report on a Wrington Parish Council public meeting that I mentioned in the previous post.

As expected, the emphasis was on those who oppose the expansion with the same prophesies of Armageddon with traffic and emissions strangling the entire area as were made as far back as the 1990s application to build the current terminal, and at every expansion application since.

One long time opponent of expansion is trying to find ways of delaying the applications' passage through the planning process.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-airport-parking-drop-off-2439968

BRS will create a free drop-off zone if its current expansion planning applications are approved. I'm not sure that's the best way to win the hearts and minds of local waverers when it comes to the expansion. It could be regarded as a form of bribery. No doubt the airport has considered this.

Addendum

Airport press release now published on the free drop-off zone.

https://www.bristolairport.co.uk/about-us/news-and-media/news-and-media-centre/2019/1/taxi-waiting-area
 
Last edited:

TheLocalYokel

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 14, 2009
12,255
343
Wurzel Country
IMPORTANT!! To reduce spam, we request that you make a post soon after completing your registration. We request you keep your account active by posting regularly. Inactive accounts risk being deleted.
Yes

kraktoa

Active Member
Jun 16, 2013
682
43
The planning application which is online on the council website for public comment has as of yesterday 950 objections and about 150 approvals.

Dont think it means anything but it could sway the planning committee.
 

TheLocalYokel

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 14, 2009
12,255
343
Wurzel Country
IMPORTANT!! To reduce spam, we request that you make a post soon after completing your registration. We request you keep your account active by posting regularly. Inactive accounts risk being deleted.
Yes
The planning application which is online on the council website for public comment has as of yesterday 950 objections and about 150 approvals.

Dont think it means anything but it could sway the planning committee.
It's not unusual with this sort of thing. It happened in 2011 with the last major planning application. The 'antis' are highly organised and last time there were objections from groups as far away as Australia.

In the end it made no difference. The airport is one of North Somerset's largest employers and its presence also supports other jobs in the area. It would be a suprise if the Conservative-dominated North Somerset Council (36 Conservative councillors out of a total of 50 councillors) with its party's business ethos rejected the application. The council planning committee might tinker with it around the edges with conditions but anything beyond that is unlikely in my view.

There might well be legal challenges and it's possible the minister might 'call it in'. Last time the minister decided to let the local council have the final say.

If the applications were rejected and any airport appeal failed, that would put the airport and thus the North Somerset economy in some difficulty.
 

Jerry

Moderator
Staff member
I've upgraded to support F4A!
Jun 1, 2016
8,532
373
38
Cardiff
Could people and organisations from outside of the North Somerset area put in objections? I'm thinking of Cardiff, Exeter and Newquay airports as they could argue that the continued expansion of BRS would hurt their businesses and potentially take passengers away from them and that BRS has too much of a monopoly in the area now as it is. I'm not saying that the airports would but just wondering if they could. Similar to how BRS can put it's case forward over APD.
 

kraktoa

Active Member
Jun 16, 2013
682
43
The online responses require an address and post code. The council could dis regard objections from outside the catchment area i suppose.
 

TheLocalYokel

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 14, 2009
12,255
343
Wurzel Country
IMPORTANT!! To reduce spam, we request that you make a post soon after completing your registration. We request you keep your account active by posting regularly. Inactive accounts risk being deleted.
Yes
Could people and organisations from outside of the North Somerset area put in objections? I'm thinking of Cardiff, Exeter and Newquay airports as they could argue that the continued expansion of BRS would hurt their businesses and potentially take passengers away from them and that BRS has too much of a monopoly in the area now as it is. I'm not saying that the airports would but just wondering if they could. Similar to how BRS can put it's case forward over APD.
I'm not sure that other airports potentially losing business is a ground for a valid planning objection - I'm certainly no expert in planning legislation though.

Generally speaking, planning committees consider such matters as:

Noise
Disturbance
Nuisance
Over-development in an area
Negative visual impact
Detrimental effect on the character of an area
Design issues
Surface access and safety

This is by no means an exhaustive list and it applies to all planning applications not just airports, but there doesn't seem anything along the lines of commercial damage to a competitor being a valid reason for objection. In the case of an airport, the proximity of other airports might be used in support of an over-development argument I suppose - ie the scale of the development is not justified - but that's only my opinion.

People often object to planning applications for all manner of reasons but their objections are not always capable of consideration by a local authority planning committee.

The online responses require an address and post code. The council could dis regard objections from outside the catchment area i suppose.
That is almost certainly why some people don't formally support contentious planning applications. Whilst most environmentalists and others who are against such things as expansion of airports are perfectly genuine and reasonable in their beliefs and would never stoop to break the law, we know that there is a lunatic fringe who will do almost anything in furtherance of their cause, including violence, threats and criminal damage to property.

I'm not sure that planning committees can ignore non-local objectors who submit valid arguments (within planning regulations) for consideration. In the end planning committees have to use their own judgement within planning law guidance, based on an application's merits and what others might say in support or against. If it was simply a case of rubber-stamping an application decision according to the number who formally objected to it or supported it, that could lead to all sorts of non-democratic repercussions.
 

TheLocalYokel

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 14, 2009
12,255
343
Wurzel Country
IMPORTANT!! To reduce spam, we request that you make a post soon after completing your registration. We request you keep your account active by posting regularly. Inactive accounts risk being deleted.
Yes
Two reports today in the Bristol Post concerning the airport's expansion plans.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/huge-new-park-ride-could-2477078

One concerns a proposal for a park and ride on the outskirts of Weston-super-Mare that the proponents say would obviate the neeed for the airport to use part of the Green Belt for their own extended car parks.

From reading the report, it appears that the intention is to build the park and ride on what are now fields. They also want the secretary of state to 'call in' the application for detailed scrutiny. In 2011 the then secretary of state declined to call in the last major planning application preferring to let the local authority deal.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/been-nearly-2000-objections-bristol-2477502

The other report wonders whether the 1800 formal objections to the planning application represent the true feelings of people in the area. The Bristol Post has come up with its own poll.
 

Aviador

Administrator
Staff member
I've upgraded to support F4A!
Jan 12, 2009
12,749
323
HEAD OFFICE
71 per cent of South West residents support airport development plans

A survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Bristol Airport has found strong support for the airport’s development amongst residents of the South West.

The airport’s explanation of its plans to increase capacity to 12 million passengers a year was supported by 71%* of those surveyed, with 17% opposed.

Simon Earles, Planning and Sustainability Director at Bristol Airport, said:

“We have always said that our plans respond to demand from the public for improved airport facilities and access to even more destinations from their regional airport. This survey highlights the support that exists for our development plans from people in the local area and across the wider South West.

“However, it also reinforces the need to make improvements to local roads, which is why any planning permission will be accompanied by significant investment in local junctions and public transport services.”
 

TheLocalYokel

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 14, 2009
12,255
343
Wurzel Country
IMPORTANT!! To reduce spam, we request that you make a post soon after completing your registration. We request you keep your account active by posting regularly. Inactive accounts risk being deleted.
Yes
Over the years whenever the airport applies for planning consents - from the time of the new terminal finished in 2000 through to the major planning permissions of 2011 - the vociferous minority of objectors always makes its feelings known, but when at those various times the local tv and print media carried out straw polls they invariably found that around 70% of those people questioned supported the developments.

The latest poll in connection with the durrent applications comes up with the same percentage.

It's fairly safe to say then that the area has a population of which between two thirds and three quarters is in favour of the airport being expanded. That's not to say though that they don't want things such as surface accessibility improved which the airport obviously recognises and along with local authorities in the area (North Somerset, Bristol and West of England Combined) is actively pursuing ways of bringing this about.
 

Sierra3

Active Member
May 13, 2016
63
28
68
Dorset & the middle east
Umm not sure about this & the video on another thread. It appears the airport is pushing the 'South West' and the 'anti s' are mostly local to the area NIMBYs. Possibly this is a bad airport strategy; the locals are, after all, neighbours

Living in North Dorset, but with a sister who lives in Wrington I can see both sides on the argument (to a degree). Wringtonians she advises are fed up
  • with parked cars being left 'all over the place' (in Wrington streets, field gateways etc). Apparently groups like hen/ stag parties drive to the airport vicinity separately, park up their cars where ever they can and then go on to the airport in one car so only one car actually pays for parking
  • with night time overflights (presumably eastbound 180's after take off to reduce noise in southern Bristol in the case of Wrington)
  • with totally inadequate road / transport infrastructure caused by airport traffic
  • being labeled as NIMBYs by others living miles away who don't have to suffer the dislocation caused by a biggish airport in totally the wrong place on what is a small site
  • plus others too detailed to record here
Her reaction to my observation that I'd received an email from the airport requesting support for their application was to make her even more entrenched; along the lines of - the local council is elected by locals for administering the local area & individual councillors should remember that (bit like MPs & Brexit!!!). They should stop it in their own interest!

Appreciate its not as simple as above, but personally I'm coming to the conclusion that the Council (unlikely) and / or the airport will have to lavish funding on amelioration schemes for locals; it would probably have to be the Airport as can't see any council having spare funding at the present. Maybe some Government funded scheme(s) might occur, but the airport bunging a few thousand here or there to the neighbours won't cut it.
 

Kingshat

Member
Mar 26, 2016
33
18
51
I have some sympathy with your sister’s views, particularly in relation to parking locally and road congestion. That said, night time traffic (or indeed commercial flights at any other time) does not route over Wrington whether departing or arriving either runway: even early turns to avoid weather on the climb out are unable to turn tight enough to overfly the village. The traffic they do see is light, general aviation, fixed-wing and rotary, but that has reduced significantly in recent years.
 

TheLocalYokel

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 14, 2009
12,255
343
Wurzel Country
IMPORTANT!! To reduce spam, we request that you make a post soon after completing your registration. We request you keep your account active by posting regularly. Inactive accounts risk being deleted.
Yes
In the 1950s and early 1960s I grew up living in Wrington and at nearby Redhill. My late father was born in Wrington over a hundred years ago. I still spend a lot of time in the area - I’m out there at least twice a week walking in the lanes, combes and hills. I’m still in regular contact with people in the village whose families have lived there for many generations. In general they seem to accept the airport’s presence and growth more readily than many of those local people who are not Wringtonians of long standing.

Wrington, like most other villages in the area, has grown enormously since my time living there. It probably was still an idyllic village in the years after World War 2 but compared with those days that’s no longer the case. It’s now even home to a small industrial estate. The reason for the change in character is that in the intervening period numerous new residents have moved into the new housing estates and other dwellings built since those times, many on former green field sites.

To my eye this has done more to spoil the village than the presence of the airport which has been there since 1957, before the profusion of houses built since.

The A38, which I use regularly, is at its busiest at commuter times thanks to residents of Wrington and other villages in the area commuting to and from Bristol for work.

I often walk along the minor road from Congresbury to Wrington, usually in the middle of the day. It’s a distance of two miles and takes me half an hour on foot (I walk at an average speed of 4 mph). On occasions I make a mental note of the vehicles passing me and it invariably works out at 70-90 in the half hour. Most are private cars with some small delivery vans and the occasional larger goods vehicle, and I doubt very much that many, if any, are airport-related.

In Broad Street, the main street for the village, cars are left littered all over the place, including on the bus stops. They aren’t airport-related either. I see people going into shops or private houses from/to the inconsiderately parked cars all the time. The bus route along the busy (not because of the airport) Long Lane from Wrington to the A38 at Redhill had to be moved to the even narrower Havyatt Road, because buses were continually being held up in Long Lane by cars driving towards them causing the buses to stop and back up.

Recently I posted elsewhere on the BRS forum of a group opposed to a proposed new housing estate south of the village. They think the houses should be built on the edge of Bristol instead - well out of their way of course. if people had taken that attitude 50 years ago about housing growth in an around Wrington, many of the residents who have moved to the village since that time might not be living there at all because houses would not have been built if the 'forefathers' of today's objectors had their way. It's the old tale about the person buying the last new house on the edge of a village being the biggest objector to further houses being built there.

I now live on the south-eastern edge of Bristol, seven and a half miles from the airport in a direct line, and about a mile to the north of the runway extended centre line. When 09 is active my wife and I are woken up regularly in the early mornings by a stream of departing aircraft, some of which turn to the left almost overhead our house and continue over the main part of the city. We’re probably more adversely affected by such aircraft noise than residents of Wrington itself.

We don’t demand that flights be restricted. We use the airport; it’s a very important facility for the region; it brings many jobs to the area.

There is a lot of hypocrisy amongst some of the opponents of the airport’s expansion. Some object but are still content to use the airport when they find it convenient to do so. Wrington Parish Council is not supportive of the airport's expansion in general, yet a few years ago was happy to help set up a twinning association with a French town purely on the back of Ryanair’s Beziers route from the airport. I don't know what they will do if Ryanair axes this route. Probably complain about it.
 

Sierra3

Active Member
May 13, 2016
63
28
68
Dorset & the middle east
Well about 9 months ago my sister couldn't get out of her front door in Broad Street due a car being parked so close to it access was impossible, not for a day but a WEEK. Police, council et al politely declined do anything about it. On return, the driver apologized with words to the effect 'sorry I was late for my flight'.

Is it unreasonable to require access to your own front door? Or is it some sort of NIMBYism from a johnny come lately?

The solution ? residents parking ? so who's going to pay to enforce it? The council or the airport?

The argument that 8 / 10 / 12 million pax can pass through any airport, lacking trains ( and/or a 4 lane access road), without causing traffic disruption for miles is IMHO highly tenuous. Much more significant infrastructure is required, who's going to pay for it? Traffic disruption costs money to the airport and the wider economy.

Its not just the Wringtonians that are grumbling, OK the recent meetings of the antis were held there; I've even come across complainants in Clevedon, where co incidentally my grandfather was born.

These plans don't effect me personally just trying to observe from a neutral standpoint, though I'm now beginning to wonder.
 

tpm

Active Member
Apr 7, 2012
211
28
The argument that 8 / 10 / 12 million pax can pass through any airport, lacking trains ( and/or a 4 lane access road), without causing traffic disruption for miles is IMHO highly tenuous. Much more significant infrastructure is required, who's going to pay for it? Traffic disruption costs money to the airport and the wider economy.
I don't think anyone disagrees with that. I believe the airport is pumping a fair bit of money into studies and proposals to enhance surface connectivity (Bristol South West Economic Link etc.), and has been supporting developments like the South Bristol Link road financially to the tune of multiple millions (IIRC), but I also think it's unreasonable to say it's solely the airport's responsibility to pay for this.

Just to put things into perspective, 12mppa is roughly equivalent to ~25k commuters if I calculated things correctly (assuming 0% public transport to the airport, and no drop-off/pick-up journeys, only drive - park - drive home journeys, and no shared car use; 4 weeks holiday per year), which isn't really that much. Similarly, the increase in capacity from 10mppa to 12mppa is roughly equivalent to adding 2000 daily commuters then, which again, isn't really that much if you take into account the span of time over which the expansion happens.

Not to say that there aren't real problems, just that numbers can be deceptive.
 

TheLocalYokel

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 14, 2009
12,255
343
Wurzel Country
IMPORTANT!! To reduce spam, we request that you make a post soon after completing your registration. We request you keep your account active by posting regularly. Inactive accounts risk being deleted.
Yes
I’m not saying that airport traffic doesn’t cause problems at times. I am saying that much of the traffic equation also involves the greatly increased number of residents in the local villages, but that this is never taken into account by those who use it as one of their objections to airport expansion. It’s always airport traffic that is the cause of any congestion, not their own as well.

Wherever an airport is situated will lead to some people objecting to its presence and/or expansion. Filton had many advantages over Lulsgate but was situated on the edge of a major conurbation and objectors to its being turned into a full-blown airport were numerous, as was shown at a public enquiry in the 1990s when BAE tried unsuccessfully to turn it into a city airport. In the winter of 2006/7 the BRS runway was closed at night for resurfacing and the two nightly Royal Mail flights at that time were switched to Filton during the hiatus. From the fuss kicked up by some local residents you’d have been forgiven for believing that Heathrow was being moved lock, stock and barrel to Filton.

It’s a fact of life - an unfortunate one for some people - that airports exist, but they do and have to be sited somewhere. Lusgate might not be in the best position for an airport but it’s there and is the only game in town. I’d love to know where local objectors think Bristol’s airport should be put, or perhaps some don’t want one at all.

I can empathise with anyone affected by inconsiderate parking. I live in a suburb on the very edge of Bristol with a health centre, school and a shopping precinct at the end of the road, where parking provision is limited for staff and users. Consequently our road is full of parked cars left all day by those attending these facilities. One of my neighbours is so incensed that he gets up at 6 every morning merely to move his car from his drive onto the road so that no-one else can park outside his house. I think that’s over the top but he is perfectly entitled to act as he does. It’s not just airports that cause traffic problems and annoyance to some people.

Residents' parking zones (RPZ) can be contentious. In many inner suburbs of Bristol commuters would drive from areas both inside and beyond the city to park all day in residential streets whilst at work, ironically some probably from villages like Wrington where airport-related parking is said to blight some lives. The previous city mayor established several more RPZ’s but they have proved controversial. Businesses and residents claimed it was a disastrous policy and an online petition calling for its cancellation was signed by more than 4,350 people. The current mayor has reviewed the policy and any new ones have to be requested by residents and be realistic.

tpm is correct in saying that the airport has put many millions of pounds into local traffic schemes, partly section 106 planning payments, and is paying most of the £600,000 cost of a joint investigation with North Somerset Council into finding ways of improving airport surface connectivity. Bristol City Council and West of England Combined Authority also regard it as a priority.

The trouble is that a new airport road link, widening the A38, or even a railway or tramway link would eat up more land and it’s a certainty that some (not all by any means) who object to airport expansion would be opposed to that as well. There are already moves to oppose a bypass that is proposed to connect the M5 with the A38 near Wrington.

I have in my possession Issue Number 1 of Bristol Airport News, published by the airport in late 1992. It was a newspaper packed with items directly and indirectly affecting the airport. The main feature was a piece on the airport's proposed new, much larger terminal for which a public enquiry was to be held in May 1993. The piece was even-handed and printed the main arguments both for and against the proposal which was part of the airport's 10-year plan to double passenger numbers to 2 mppa by 2003.

Then as now, the main arguments opposing the expansion were noise, pollution and extra traffic, and the then chairman of the Parish Councils’ Airport Association wanted a ban on night flying. Whenever the question of airport expansion has arisen since that time the same arguments are put forward as they continue to be now.

I entirely respect the views of those who don't wish the airport to expand, or those who seek substantial mitigation if it does. Quite naturally and understandably, the proponents will highlight those points that support their argument. I’m merely trying to point out that there are two sides to every argument.

I believe that airports are essential to the economic health of a region or a country, and the Bristol/West of England city region is one of the most economically vibrant and successful in the entire UK, with the local airport playing an important part.

For the record, I have never worked in the aviation or travel industry and I have no relatives or friends who do. I am a user of BRS and other airports but my wife and I don’t fly as often as we did in the past (we are solely leisure travellers these days) because we find air travel more of a hassle nowadays. We are affected by BRS airport noise as I mentioned in an earlier post, but even though we are awoken very early some mornings by departing aircraft we accept that they have to fly somewhere.
 

Advertisement


Top Bottom