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City objects to airport plans

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Bristol City Council has formally objected to £150m expansion plans for the region’s airport.

The plans will be decided by the neighbouring North Somerset Council but Bristol is unhappy about night noise, traffic pollution and climate change.

Bristol and the joint airport owners First Group sold the airport in 2000 to Spanish construction company Cintra and the Macquarie Bank Group of Australia.

The new scheme includes an expanded terminal, multi-storey car parks, new runway apron and demolition of the old terminal.

Public consultation on the expansion has now ended and Bristol raised its concerns in a formal letter of objection.

The council says that Bristol International Airport has “failed to adequately address the issues of concern raised at earlier stages”.

David Bishop, the council’s strategic director for city development, wrote: “Past concerns that the environmental impacts could be substantial, and possibly unacceptable remain.

“Recent government and local authority commitments to more challenging carbon reduction targets adds weight to concerns about impacts on climate change. Consequently, the Council’s position on the development proposals remains substantially unchanged.”

Airport spokesman James Gore told the Bristol Evening post: “At a full council meeting on 31 March 2009, Bristol City Council recognised the vital role BIA plays in the city’s success, providing worldwide connections for local business and leisure travellers, generating economic growth and high-quality employment, and offering a convenient gateway for inbound tourists.

“While the consultation response does express some concerns with the proposals, it also contains a number of constructive mitigation measures and amendments should North Somerset Council be minded to approve the application.”

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