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High court gives go ahead to Bristol airport expansion

Bristol airport will be allowed to expand after a High Court ruling announced today.

Campaigners against the expansion have expressed disappointment at the news, saying this neglects the fact that we are facing a climate emergency.  

Plans for the expansion were originally rejected by North Somerset Council in 2020 based on planning and environmental grounds, before this was overturned by the planning inspectorate.

It’s thought the expansion could increase annual passengers from ten million to 12 million, while the number of flights are set to rise from 10,420 to nearly 86,000 per year.

white airplane parked during daytime

Judge Justice Lane, who made the ruling, said it was not up to local authorities to make decisions on airport expansions, but was something for central government.

The Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN), who have been campaigning against the expansion since last year, expressed disappointment at the ruling and pledged to keep fighting against the decision.

Bristol Airport welcomed the High Court’s judgement, arguing that the expansion would create 800 jobs for the airport, 5,000 regionally and £430m for the South West’s economy.

Co-leader of the Green Party, Carla Denyer, showed her support for BAAN on twitter, writing: ‘Bristol Airport expansion allowed by the High Court.

‘This is a devastating outcome. It tramples on local democracy and would mean 1000s of extra flights producing a million tonnes of CO2 equivalents every year.

‘@baancc are going to try to take it to the Court of Appeal.’

Several UK airports are seeking to expand, including Luton, Gatwick and Heathrow, while applications from Southampton and Stansted have been approved.

Photo by Anna Gru

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