“This is a devastating outcome” - Bristol Airport wins High Court battle to expand

“This is a devastating outcome. Bristol airport’s unnecessary expansion will mean thousands of extra flights which will produce one million tonnes of CO2 equivalents every year,”
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Bristol Airport has been granted permission to expand after a legal battle brought against the plans was dismissed by the High Court, today (January 31).

A statutory appeal was lodged by the Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) to prevent the airport from increasing its annual passenger numbers from 10 million to 12 million. BAAN is a collective of groups opposing the expansion which was approved by the Planning Inspectorate in February 202 - some of its members have held events and protests including today outside the Bristol Civic Justice Centre.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The campaign group believes expansion would be disastrous for the surrounding area for both nearby residents and the environment and wildlife. Green Party co-leader and Councillor for Clifton Down, Carla Denyer said: “This is a devastating outcome. Bristol airport’s unnecessary expansion will mean thousands of extra flights which will produce one million tonnes of CO2 equivalents every year, right at the point we most need to be reducing our emissions. Not to mention more traffic, noise and air pollution for local people, and it will risk harming endangered local species. All this in face of clear local opposition.

“To make matters worse, we know that up to 20 other regional airports have their own plans to expand and will have been watching this case very closely to see if the government will enforce its own climate policy. As the government’s own committee on climate change has pointed out, airport expansion is completely incompatible with our commitments on climate change.

“Unfortunately, both the Conservatives and Labour want to have their cake and eat it when it comes to climate change, claiming to support climate action but unwilling to accept any change from business as usual. In the real world, there is no such thing as green aviation or carbon-neutral jet fuel. We must listen to the scientists, not the airports.”

In its plans, Bristol Airport proposes major investment in the terminal building, parking facilities, and public transport links. It has also been estimated that the planned expansion would create 800 jobs and up to 5,000 vacancies in the surrounding region - potentially adding £430million to the South West economy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Dave Lees, CEO of Bristol Airport, welcomed the High Court’s decision, saying: “Bristol Airport welcomes the High Court Judge’s decision to dismiss the claim and uphold the planning permission to increase Bristol Airport’s capacity from 10 million to 12 million passengers per annum.

“The decision is excellent news for our region’s economy, allowing us to create up to 5,000 new jobs, deliver more international destinations for the South West and South Wales, and invest hundreds of millions of pounds improving the customer experience. We will do this while working towards our ambitious target of net zero carbon operations by 2030. We look forward to working with stakeholders and the community to deliver our vision to be everyone’s favourite airport.”

“Bristol Airport made the fastest recovery from the pandemic of any major UK airport and is anticipating a busy 2023. Expanded capacity will allow the Airport to explore new direct links to Europe and further afield. As well as providing economic links for our region, new routes will remove some of the millions of car journeys made from the South West and South Wales to London airports each year.

“Bristol Airport put sustainability at the heart of their expansion proposals and will now push ahead with its multi-million-pound plans for net zero operations by 2030, alongside its work with partners in the region to accelerate the development of zero-emission flight.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.