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UPDATE – Inquiry on Bristol Airport’s Appeal to Expand – July to October 2021

Return here for the most up-to-date information on the run up to the 10-week Inquiry that will decide on the future expansion plans for Bristol Airport.

Watch the Inquiry via YouTube. Links for week commencing 19th July can be found here .

URGENT ACTION IS NEEDED if, as a member of the public or representing an organisation, you are wanting to address the Inquiry in person or remotely (via Teams). If this is the case you need to register by emailing the Public Inquiry Manager, Joanna Vincent, as soon as possible. Email: Joanna.Vincent@gateleyhamer.com with the following information:

  • A brief statement on the area(s) you would like to address the Inquiry on. It is suggested that you limit your comments to a couple of specific areas;
  • Make it clear whether you want to address the Inquiry remotely via Teams or whether you would prefer to present your points to the Inquiry in person
  • state your availability to be attending online or in-person with details of preferred dates and times.
  • For full details please refer to the information below on HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED.

    Image from the 3-day vigil organised by BANN outside Weston-Super-Mare’s Town Hall – Feb 2020

    AIM OF THE INQUIRY

    The aim of the inquiry is to deal with the appeal submitted by Bristol Airport Limited following the rejection of their original planning application for expansion from 10 million passengers per annum to 12 mppa.

    The Inquiry will examine the following areas:

    a. The acceptability of the scheme with regard to adopted and emerging local and national policy;

    b. The extent to which the development would harm the openness of the Green Belt and/or conflict with its purposes and the extent to
    which the harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness,
    and any other Green Belt harm, is clearly outweighed by other
    considerations, including very special circumstances.
    c. The effects of the proposed development upon sustainable transport
    objectives, the highway network, highway safety and parking
    provision;
    d. The effect of air pollution associated with the proposed development
    on health and quality of life;
    e. The effect of noise associated with the proposed development on
    health and quality of life;
    f. The impact of the proposed development on greenhouse gas
    emissions and the ability of the UK to meet its climate change
    obligations;
    g. The extent to which the proposed development will deliver
    economic, social and/or other benefits;

    Evidence will also cover air traffic forecasts and projections; socio-economic impacts and other health matters though it is considered that these are sub-
    issues within the main issues identified above.

    The administration of the Inquiry is organised by Gateley/Hamer. The Inquiry website can be found here

    THE VENUE & ACCESS TO THE INQUIRY

    The Inquiry will be held in the main Council Chamber at Weston’s Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ. Measures will be place to ensure the venue is COVID-19 safe which means there will be limited space for in-person attendance despite there is expected to be a relaxation of COVID-19 rules on 19th July. An online booking form will be introduced to allocate seats on a daily basis. A link will be published here once it is operational. Access will also be granted via Teams for those people taking part in the Inquiry who cannot or prefer not to be in-person. Proceedings will be streamed via YouTube for those who want to observe the event and in addition they will be recorded for those who need to catch up sometime later. The link to watch live streaming is http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/airportappeal.

    DATES, TIMES AND SCHEDULE

    The Inquiry will commence on Tuesday 20th July and is expected to last some 10 weeks with an additional three weeks of breaks has been decided to allow participants a chance to have a holiday (*see dates below).

    The Inquiry will officially open at 10.00hrs on 20 July 2021, though may start slightly earlier on subsequent days. Each day will finish no later than
    17.00. Lunch breaks will be scheduled around 13.00, with short mid-morning and afternoon breaks at suitable points in the proceedings. Note that Mondays will not be a sitting day. At least one evening session is planned for member of the public who want to address the Inquiry but cannot get access to the proceedings during the day.

    *Proceeding are estimated to take up to 13 weeks in total which includes a two week break scheduled from 16th to 30th August and a further one week break w/c 20 September 2021.

    The outline of the Inquiry programme is as follows. Please note it is subject to change.

    Week commencing
    (NB no sittings on Mondays)
    Running OrderKey BAAN Involvement
    19th JulOpening statements from all parties.
    PCAA – Residential Amenity/PC Areas/
    B&NES Comments.
    Local Residents Statements (22nd-23rd)
    Opening Statement from
    BAAN legal representative – Estelle Dehon
    26 JulForecasting
    Socio-economics
    2 AugNoise
    Air Quality
    9 AugAir Quality (continued)
    Health
    16 AugBREAK
    23 AugBREAK – Inspector Site Visit
    30 AugHighways
    6 SeptClimate ChangeEvidence from BAAN Witnesses – Professor Kevin Anderson
    (University of Manchester/
    Tyndall Centre) and Finlay
    Asher (Green Sky Thinking)
    13 SeptGreen Belt & Landscape
    20 SeptBREAK
    27 SeptPlanning Balance
    Conditions & S106 (Round Table Session)
    Evidence from BAAN Witness – Sam Hunter Jones (Client Earth)
    4 OctSection 78 Closings Statements from all parties.
    Compulsory Purchase Order
    Closing Statement from
    BAAN legal representative – Estelle Dehon
    11 OctCompulsory Purchase Order
    For overrunning
    
    

    WHO ARE THE MAIN PEOPLE AND GROUPS INVOLVED?

    The Panel of Inspectors appointed to conduct the Inquiry comprises
    Inspector Mr Phillip Ware BSc (Hons) DipTP MRTPI (Lead), with Mrs Claire
    Searson MSc PGDip BSc (Hons) MRTPI IHBC and Mr Dominic Young JP BSc
    (Hons) MA MRTPI MIHE.

    Bristol Airport Limited (BAL) is the ‘appellant’ and North Somerset Council (NSC) is the ‘defendant’ – being forced to defend the overwhelming decision by its Councillors who listened to local opinion and rejected the airport’s original planning application on 10th February 2020.

    Parties with ‘Rule 6’ status are groups and organisations who have applied to be an integral part of the Inquiry because they have a particular interest in the proceedings. They have the entitlement to present evidence to the Inquiry and interrogate that evidence presented by Airport’s witnesses/experts. The Rule 6 parties are represented by their legal team and have organised evidence from a number of experts who will present their case during proceedings.

    The Rule 6 Parties involved in the Inquiry are:

    Links are to each party’s Statement of Case available on the Gateley/Hamer website.

    HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?

    Subject to COVID-19 regulations it is planned to hold the inquiry in person at Weston-Super-Mare’s Town Hall. There will be limited room for the public to attend despite the proposed relaxation of COVID-19 rules. Social distancing and the wearing of masks will need to be observed. The Inquiry sessions will also be livestreamed via YouTube and will be found here http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/airportappeal

    HAVING YOUR SAY. This is a public inquiry so it is proposed that sessions will be scheduled in order for members of the public to speak for or against the Airport’s expansion plans. It has been agreed that much of the first couple of days will include public involvement – Tues 20th and Weds 21st. It is likely that further opportunities over the 10 weeks will be required to accommodate the number of people who want to express their opinions especially as the Inquiry is tackling the evidence on a topic by topic basis. The Lead Planning Inspector has said that no one will be turned away from speaking.

    URGENT ACTION NEEDED: If you would like to contribute to the inquiry then you need to register by emailing the Public Inquiry Manager, Joanna Vincent, as soon as possible. Email: Joanna.Vincent@gateleyhamer.com with the following information:

    • a brief statement on the area(s) you would like to address the Inquiry on. It is suggested that you limit your comments to a couple of specific areas
    • make it clear whether you want to address the Inquiry remotely via Teams or whether you would prefer to present your points to the Inquiry in person.
    • state your availability to be attending online or in-person with details of preferred dates and times.

    At least one session will be held in the evening and as soon as this is known the date will be posted here.

    Finally, if you can, please follow us on our social media outlets (Twitter and Facebook). Do like, share, comment and all the rest so that we can keep this issue on people’s minds.

    Bristol Airport expansion is the biggest climate decision our region faces. Expansion will alone render all other carbon reduction in Bristol and the surrounding region redundant. We were on the right side of history in stopping this expansion once, back in February 2020. We can do this again!

    One reply on “UPDATE – Inquiry on Bristol Airport’s Appeal to Expand – July to October 2021”

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