In news released on February 11th 2020, Bristol Airport’s controversial expansion plans have been thrown out by North Somerset Council. The Bristol Airport transport hub wanted to increase its current capacity from 10 million to 12 million passengers per year, while adding thousands more parking spaces.
Refusing planning permission by 18 votes to seven, North Somerset councillors said the environmental and societal impacts outweighed the economic benefits of the expansion. Because the committee went against officer advice, the decision will have to be ratified at a future meeting.
Bristol Airport chief executive Dave Lees said the decision risks “putting the brakes” on the future growth of the region when other areas are forging ahead.
In a statement from Bristol Airport they said “We are disappointed by the decision of North Somerset Council’s Planning & Regulatory Committee to recommend refusal of our planning application to increase Bristol Airport’s capacity from 10 to 12 million passengers a year, contrary to the recommendation of the Council’s own planning officers.”
“This decision risks putting the brakes on the region’s economy by turning away airlines who want to serve the South West market, shutting the door to international trade and tourism at a time when the UK needs to show it is open for business.”
“By preventing Bristol Airport from meeting demand for air travel from within the region it serves, the Council will simply exacerbate the situation which already sees millions of passengers a year form our region drive to London airports in order to fly, creating carbon emissions and congestion in the process.”