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Airport Master Plan for next 30 Years - Consultation

TheLocalYokel

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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.
 

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TheLocalYokel

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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/ab...ews-and-media-centre/2019/1/taxi-waiting-area
 
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