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Crowdfunder – BAAN joins in Stansted’s fight

Bristol Airport Action Network are teaming up with other UK community action groups to stop UK airport expansions and the resulting acceleration of the climate crisis. Last year We worked to stop Bristol Airport’s planning application and are now battling the airport’s appeal at a public inquiry. BAAN is also now helping in the legal case against Stansted Airport’s plan to expand.Stopping these expansion plans will prevent the unnecessary emissions of millions of tonnes of CO2. BAAN is a voluntary group supporting our fantastic legal team who are working for a fraction of their usual fees. All donations will be to support our legal team.

Please share our story widely. Stopping these airport expansions now would be a game changer. Your donation will help us tip the balance!

https://uk.gofundme.com/f/help-us-stop-uk-airport-expansions

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BAAN’s PRESS RELEASE ON 6th IPCC REPORT.

 Climate activists are adamant that the latest report released today by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gives an unanswerable reason to reject Bristol Airport’s expansion.  The report gives a stark warning that Governments, businesses and individuals worldwide need to do much more to drastically reduce carbon emissions that are responsible for more frequent lethal extreme weather events as well as ecological collapse of the natural environment. It is now very likely that global temperatures will reach or exceed 1.5°C within  the next two decades. Even if we humankind acts urgently we will not be able to stop climate change, but we hope to slow the process down.

 Campaign groups are demanding deeper, wider and faster action at all levels and Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) strongly feels that it is the science that has decided that Bristol Airport cannot go ahead with their plans for an extra two million passengers a year.  The decision is currently being decided in a 10-week public inquiry in Weston-Super-Mare. 

 Richard Baxter spokesperson for BAAN who are a party to the inquiry and are bringing evidence from world-leading scientists says, “This new IPCC report is frighteningly disturbing and clearly confirms that we should be doing everything in our power to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is too late to stop climate change. So we must act now and act decisively to lessen the impact on the human population and the environmental systems that we rely on for life. Soaring temperatures resulting in life threatening wildfires and flooding around the world are plain to see. It is therefore insane that the planning inquiry is considering plans to expand Bristol Airport that if agreed, will literally fan the flames of the perilous situation we already face.”

The Government claims it is setting world leading targets to tackle climate change but it has been criticised by its own Climate Change Committee and environmentalists for a lack of policies and strategies that give business and communities a clear direction for action.  The Government is currently consulting on its Jet Zero strategy which claims we can cut aviation emissions to zero without affecting the scale of passenger travel.  Chris Stark, the head of the CCC, has said “aviation was unlikely to meet targets for net zero by 2050, unlike other modes of transport.”

Richard Baxter adds, “We know that any decision to expand the airport will result in increased emissions because the aviation industry is not in the position to decarbonise with alternative sustainable fuels or new aircraft technology any time soon; electric or hydrogen aircraft will not be able to fly internationally for many, many year and it will be too late for our climate by then.

Stephen Clarke also from BAAN says, “In February 2020 the North Somerset Council’s Planning Committee listened to the views of the local community and firmly rejected Bristol Airport’s plans to expand.  The airport appealed that decision and during the first week of the inquiry local people and the local business community had the chance once again to give their evidence to the three planning inspectors.  We were overwhelmed by many of the personal testimonies of those who opposed the airport’s application.“

One speaker who attended remotely using Microsoft Teams was Canadian teacher, Teri Burgess, who has her pension with Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, the company that owns Bristol Airport.  She said that many teachers were demanding that the OTPP divested from high carbon producing companies such as the airport. Her evidence highlighted the situation some people are facing when she also told the inquiry that wildfires were in the vicinity at that very moment and she needed to go and pack an evacuation bag for her and her son!

 Another member of BAAN, Tarisha Finnegan-Clarke said, “The airport is telling us that their expansion plans had 100% backing from the local business community.  We know this is not true as we have been approached by dozens of businesses that feel differently and we will be bringing forward that evidence to the inquiry.  These progressive companies know that their staff will be flying less because of Zoom and Teams and they have made clear measurable commitments to their environmental targets.  They know that there is a change coming and it will be either forced change or change by design.  They have chosen the latter and say loudly that this expansion cannot be allowed to happen.” 

The inquiry will be considering the impact of the proposed airport expansion on the climate and environment  during the week beginning 6th September. It will be a crucial week for the BAAN team and those who oppose the airport’s plans.

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27th – 30th July Forecasting & Socio-economic impacts

Jackie-in-her-box reflecting on Week 2

Dr Alex Chapman from New Economics Foundation (NEF) challenges evidence put forward by Bristol Airport Limited.

The forensic scrutiny of the evidence in chief began this week at the  Public Inquiry and whilst a challenge to fully grasp every detail, the narratives lawyers are constructing from witness evidence certainly pulls you in.

The topics covered during Week 2 were forecasting and socio-economic impacts. 

There was much scrutiny of BAL’s evidence which revealed serious omissions. Examples included:

  • Reporting on the economic impact of inbound tourism without looking at the economic impact of outbound tourism. (we are talking about a significant deficit) 
  • Mentioning anticipated job figures without noticing that the same expansion in Cardiff would be likely to bring about more jobs because of the jobs-per-passenger ratio variation between Bristol and Cardiff. 
  • Claiming that other local airport’s aren’t viable for expansion but failing to mention that Bristol takes custom from them and in the case of Cardiff which has capacity, robs an area with greater levels of deprivation to ‘level up’ ( as per the government’s vision for the U.K.)

I began the week reminded of jury service – the formality, the intricate detailing and referencing of points, the putting of witnesses on the ropes with clear interrogation techniques.

By the end of the week it was feeling more reminiscent of an impressive magic show with lots of smoke and mirrors from the airport to try to distract us from the damaging impacts of airport expansion. In the final witness of the week it felt as if a curtain was pulled back and a rather insubstantial and biased evidence base was revealed.

The other discovery of the week? Economic forecasts are no match for the sudden shocks of experience that can throw plans off kilter. They can also be manipulated by looking at only part of the picture. The airport’s forecast (revised post Covid) may have factored in Brexit but they had not re-run the original modelling (which it was argued they should have done) to show the true impacts of slow growth or no growth, both of which were evidenced  as now possible by and NSC and PCAA  witness. The dramatic upskilling of the world in the use of video conferencing is gaining a longer-term appeal to businesses, stretched as they are by Covid’s economic impact. Neither has the devastating global and local impact of reaching climate tipping points been addressed. Two reports out this week brought this starkly into our here and now reality as did Storm Evert raging through the West country.

All of BAL’s (arguably unrealistic) forecasting rested on reaching 12 million but the challenge was put as to what next? When Heathrow expands? when a rail link from Bristol to Heathrow comes on stream? What stranded assets and cut jobs will North Somerset have sanctioned?

Star witness of the week was Alex Chapman from NEF. He was not drawn by BAL’s Barrister into downplaying or undercutting his evidence but instead made a compelling case that the expansion should be considered against government best practice guidance ‘the Green Book’. Think I need to add that to my reading list!

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21st-23rd July: Many voices – two world views.

Days 2 to 4

One of the privileges of my chronic illness (yes I know that does sound mad) is that I have to spend a good deal of my life sitting with my feet up, which means deciding to watch the entirety of week 1 of the Inquiry was an easy segway from normal life. And what a joy that was, with public comments weighted so clearly AGAINST expansion.

So what is the taste in my mouth at the end of week one?

What is most stark, and perhaps unsurprising given the adversarial nature of a Public Inquiry, is that two clear views exist in the room, based on well argued belief systems:

The Airport begins from the premise that the North Somerset position was an error of judgement by the NS Council, overly influenced by public opinion and not taking enough account of their officer’s report. (as an aside, officer’s reports are advisory so nothing wrong there). They point to the fact that airport emissions are such a tiny amount of National emissions that they don’t make a big difference (locally or nationally), that they can mitigate difficulties (with changes to road junctions, sound proofing for locals etc) that they are staying in the letter of the law and are backed by policy (a point quickly debunked in BAAN’s opening statement) and that flying should be prioritised, especially post Brexit, to connect us to the country/world build economic growth after the devastation of COVID. They argue that the West of England needs the jobs and there will be lots of them (actually this is wildly exaggerated as shown in the New Economics Foundation (NEF) report that will be brought into the evidence.) Finally, they point to the ‘Net Zero Airport’ and to all the shiny new technology that can make the carbon in aviation just go away, and the offsetting that will mop up those that technology can’t avoid. (this being the biggest piece of greenwash, revealed by many speakers.)

So, the public who spoke in support bought into this view: Two current employees of BIA, one representing Unite Union, representatives from Business West and the Chambers of Commerce in Bristol and Somerset, Visit West (a tourist organisation) and a consultant to aviation. If you knew nothing about the Greenwash of the airport (which many of these speakers quoted from the website as if it were ‘the truth’) then you might have been taken in.

In various ways this world view was seriously undermined by the legal teams from BAAN, North Somerset Council and the Parish Council Airport Association (PCAA), both in their openings which called out that given by the airport, in skillful cross examination and in the straightforward honest testimony of the public.

The second world view is that North Somerset Councillors had the foresight to see the need to curb expansion both because of local impact (the creeping growth over many years has made life pretty grim for those living under flight paths impacted by increasing noise and pollution and those in villages that have become rat runs,) and the Climate & Nature Emergency.

The range of speakers who objected was one of the strengths of this side; the airport cannot dismiss the arguments as ‘nimbyism’ or the exaggerations of climate ‘crusties’, when they hear from a senior lecturer in transport policy who says the figures don’t add up; a retired consultant radiologist and head of public health in the area on the impact on sleep disturbance on physiology even when you don’t wake up; a retired teacher who can cite a study where children impacted by air noise attain less well at school; a manufacturing engineer who points out the ridiculous claim of the airport to be carbon neutral when the scope 1 & 2 emissions (by their own admission) only make up 1% of the total emissions, and an air quality researcher from Imperial College London who is able to shoot the airport’s downplaying of air quality issues out of the sky. And these were members of the public not the ‘expert witnesses’ of the formal proceedings.

Also impossible not to be moved and persuaded by are the heart-felt pleas of local villagers, the testimony of people who devote their lives to supporting their communities and reducing carbon, and those (many) who talked about their fear, sadness and anger about the world they would be leaving to their children.

The creativity and rationality of the testimony and the strong evidence-based  underpinning of their arguments was extraordinary. If you want to get the feel, try listening to Phil Heath Wednesday 21/7/21 pm 27:23 -31:26, Sarah Poppy Jackson  Thursday 22/7/21 pm 2.29:33-2.38:38 or Bill Roberts Thursday 22/7/21 a.m. 2.24:25-2.37:57 (links for the week given below)

DateSessionLink
Tuesday 20 JulyMorninghttps://youtu.be/uF5Uio4WZWU
Afternoonhttps://youtu.be/Q06DxPR_7B8
Wednesday 21 JulyMorninghttps://youtu.be/PcA3CG30Ndo
Afternoonhttps://youtu.be/l3EzDxCi2A4
Thursday 22 JulyMorninghttps://youtu.be/V6nSwaSIVt4
Afternoonhttps://youtu.be/bLbPvQvnBFc
Friday 23 JulyMorninghttps://youtu.be/KaSA1UFRcN4
Afternoonhttps://youtu.be/C8_GMGTbsLE

Impactful too, are the testimonies of people with first hand knowledge of climate change impact. Steve Moppett, Ex-cabin crew, working in airlines whilst studying Environmental Science degree, (Friday 23/7/22 am 2.11:55- 2.20:48) spoke about the careless mass use of single use plastic in the aviation industry and told us how his mother-in-law’s village in Kenya, for years based on subsistence farming, was now deserted because of extreme weather. Teri Burgess, Teacher calling from Canada, who is a member (and thus part-owner) of Ontario Teachers Pension Fund and the airport, delivered her testimony about forest fires burning, close enough to her house that her next task was to pack a bag in preparation for evacuation (Thursday 22/7/2021 pm.2.56:07-3.03:04 ) 

Some splendid cross examination from NS & PCAA counsel and from Steve Clarke, a retired solicitor who has put his life on hold to be our legal lead for most of the Inquiry (our barrister only being in person for her openings this week and the week of our C&NE evidence in September) completely debunked the ‘we need growth’ arguments at every turn. The airport, by contrast, intervened little but was at times savage (Note the firm and solid testimony given by Sarah Warren from B&NES; a witness to the PCAA Wednesday 21/7/21 am 3.56:29 -3.29:25, against a barrage of attacks.)

So I feel hopeful, but also challenged. How do we change the beliefs of people who doggedly hang on to world view one? Can we win them over, or do we have to slay them through this process to win the day? In the world outside the enquiry let’s change their minds one by one. Inside the Inquiry?…It feels more like war.

Jackie-in-her-box

25/7/2021

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21 July – Let The People Speak

Day 2:  The Inquiry has set aside 3 days for hearing statements from representatives of the local Parish Councils and from interested parties who object to or support Bristol Airport’s proposed expansion.

Much of the day dealt with evidence from Parish Council representatives and for the first time we witnessed the art of ‘cross examination’ and some of us were concerned at how brutal the process could be!

For some people it is totally daunting speaking inside the chamber headed up by a lofty bench seating the 3 inspectors as well of a room of very official-looking people. Not surprising that statements were varied in delivery but everyone had a valid reason to be present either in-person or via Teams.  It was great to hear from some very confident speakers.  Personal accounts from residents included tales of misery about the incredibly disturbing noise of aircraft flying overhead, traffic congestion, illegal parking, taxi drivers using gardens as toilets, the smell of aviation fumes as well as many other complaints. 

Of course not everyone was against the airport expansion so we also heard from a smattering of supporters including a representative from the Federation of Small Businesses (FBS).  Our lead, Stephen Clarke, exercised BAAN’s right as a Rule 6 party to cross examine, Mr Mayer, on his statement that gave the impression that all members of the FBS were 100% behind the airport’s plans.  On questioning it was clear that not all businesses associated with the FBS were in favour of expansion and there was no evidence available to corroborate percentage of those members who were for and against. 

Stephen Clarke cross examines the Federation of Small Businesses. Note the unintentional Greenwash sticker that is being broadcast on YouTube!

The above challenge gave us all a reality check that actually this was a key reason why BAAN decided to make the bold decision to apply to be a Rule 6 Party.  We suddenly realised that not only do we have a seat at the Inquiry but we also have the important opportunity to use our voice in cross examining what others are saying.  Once again BAAN demonstrated that it was willing to influence the debate to hopefully ensure the right outcome.

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20th July – Day 1: Opening Statements

When a Public Inquiry is 40 days long very few are going to watch all of it. 

To catch the gist you could do worse than to line up recordings of the 20th and the first hour of the 21st. See below:

Tues 20th am https://youtu.be/uF5Uio4WZWU

Tues 20th pm https://youtu.be/Q06DxPR_7B8

Weds 21st am https://youtu.be/PcA3CG30Ndo

You can hear the opening statements of the key parties of the inquiry; the ‘Appellant’ (that’s the airport,) the opposing North Somerset Council (whose planning decision is being questioned) and the various other Rule 6 Parties who have a range of reasons why the appeal should be dismissed.

These are densely packed accounts of the main arguments that each party means to present and it shows the thrust of arguments and the key issues at dispute.. Take it in bite sized chunks…actually listening all at once was pretty full on!

It is only day 1 and the Inquiry schedule has already slipped…in part because of technicalities which took a bit of time to thrash out but at least in part because Appellant’s QC took up twice the time he originally requested (2 hours instead of 1) and presented for the first time a carefully annotated 85 page document to accompany his opening statement .He said he wouldn’t read it out because it would take three and a half hours…. but then he did read much of it; it began to feel like filibustering. He appeared to over-explain things with a sort of ‘we all know this’ attitude, and in a number of subtle ways tried to imply he had the higher ground in the argument and somehow of higher status (watch the first sentence reference to chatting with the High Court Judge yesterday…)

His points were soon deflated somewhat by the calm, almost laid back delivery of the QC for North Somerset. He spoke for nearly an hour and a half (time extended to incorporate responses to the Appellant’s statement) and had an answer for every complaint raised.

So at this point a renegotiation of time had to happen. But this is what happens at inquiries. Some Counsel are crisp clear and get straight to the point and others seem to ooze out into extra time and inspectors are loath to curtail them. And it is public comment that can get squeezed.

Witness Estelle Dehon the Barrister for BAAN as a brilliant example of the former style. Her 35 minute speech packed in some weighty punches but also illustrated on a human scale. Did you know that Weston Super Mare is now forecast to be below sea level by 2050 because of climate change? ‘This decision couldn’t be more locally or nationally important’, she said. She dismantled the airport’s opening case as  wrong ‘in law’. Ouch! Burn ..🔥🔥🔥

Meanwhile, outside fabulous theatre from XR and fantastic interviews made the appeal the top story on BBC Radio Bristol, ITN/BBC TV news & local papers. Well done all…back again tomorrow.  One down … 39 to go!

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20th July: BAAN Barrister Gives Opening Statement

Estelle Dehon

BAAN’s barrister, Estelle Dehon, gave her opening statement to the inquiry, following that of Bristol Airport’s representative.

You can watch the full statement below

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19th July – On the night before opening….

Imagine the excitement, we realised today that at least 77% of the public speakers over this first week of the Bristol Airport Expansion Planning application Public Inquiry object to airport expansion.

77% it’s a magic number … hold it in mind… it’s just over 3/4 of the total if you prefer a fraction…

When Bristol Airport first put in a planning application to increase their capacity by 2 million people a year, there were 11507 comments on the North Somerset Planning website: higher than for any other planning application..ever.

Of these  8931 were objections…that’s…. wait for it… 77%.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-20200207-wa0022.jpg
The original application attracted an amazing 11,507 comments, 77% of which were objections which amounted to a million words.

So, just in case there are gaps in the line up, you heard it here first… 77% of the public speakers in this first week are against expansion: a perfect reflection of the % who objected originally.

Of course it’s not the only magic number 

84% … that’s the % of North Somerset  residents (living nearest to the airport) commenting  who objected . The North Somerset Councillors really were representing their constituents when they turned it down, weren’t they?

93%…. That’s the % of comments that were objections from the Chew Valley, directly impacted by flight paths and rat runs through villages for cars travelling to and from the airport

85%….that’s the number of comments that were objections from Bristol residents… who know so well about the impact of air pollution

99%….that’s the % of comments from Bath residents who objected, good job B&NES is so on the ball about the Climate and Nature emergency then

You can still register your desire to speak and do so later in the inquiry…. Want to speak next week?… we would love to hear from businesses, academics, planners and forecasters, people who want proper green jobs, not uncertain ones which rely on the oil industry and are likely to become automated and phased out when airports become the white elephant building projects of the Climate & Nature Emergency.  Anyone can make a case for the negative socio-economic impact of expansion, you don’t need to be an expert, just someone with a story to tell and the willingness to give up 3 minutes to stop the Inspectors making a big mistake…

To register a desire to object contact Joanna.Vincent@gateleyhamer.com letting her know if you will attend in person or virtually via microsoft teams

Blogger: Jackie-in-her-box

Jackie is a member of the BAAN Co-ordinating Committee who can’t attend the Inquiry in person as the risk of COVID is higher for her. She will be watching though and blogging about what she sees.

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UPDATE – Inquiry on Bristol Airport’s Appeal to Expand

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.

The overall conclusion was that the BAAN team made a a tremendous impact on Climate Week. Led by our barrister, Estelle Dehon, our team of expert witnesses offered robust and cogent evidence and performed well under cross-examination. They covered the topic comprehensively given the time available and left the Inspectors in no doubt that an expanding airport flies in the face of the science. We are indebted to the team assembled by Stephen Clarke for their commitment and expertise

CLIMATE WEEK – 7th-10th September. The Inquiry has resumed after a two break and Week 6 will focus on examining the crucial issues surrounding climate change. This is the week that BAAN has been working towards in stopping the airport expand. The links to follow via YouTube will be posted here

Our legal and expert witness team. Team: Left to Right: Stephen Clarke, Estelle Dehon (Barrister), Sam Hunter-Jones, Kevin Anderson and Finlay Asher.

Our Team. We have assembled a brilliant team of legal and expert witnesses to represent the many people who have contributed to the campaign. The key players this week will be:

Our legal representative is Estelle Dehon from Cornerstone Barristers who is also involved in the public inquiry into the proposed Cumbrian Coalmine.  The group have acquired the expertise of Professor Kevin Anderson (Chair of Energy and Climate Change, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester and Chair at
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research). Kevin Anderson is one of the academics at the forefront of research in the area of climate change. Finlay Asher is the founder of Green Sky Thinking consultancy and has valuable experience as an aero-engineer with Rolls Royce.  His evidence will focus on the fact that sustainable alternative fuels proposed by the aviation industry will not be developed in time to avert the climate crisis.  Sam Hunter-Jones works as a lawyer for Client Earth and will be presenting the current policy framework surrounding climate change. Client Earth has worked on campaigns to stop the 3rd runway at Heathrow.

Monday 9th August – The IPCC released its 6th comprehensive report on the impact of climate change on the planet. It concludes that humanity has been responsible for warming the planet due to greenhouse gas emissions and that it is too late to stop the processes involved. However, there is a slim opportunity to slow down global heating that is causing deadly extreme weather events around the planet. It will need urgent action from international governments and companies to cut greenhouse gas emissions. BAAN has issued a press release that says this devastating IPCC report should be grounds for the rejection of Bristol Airport’s expansion plans. Story published in Bristol 247. See hear.

Thursday 16th September – New date for public involvement.

An additional day of testimonies and evidence has been organised for 16th September. 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 key points you would like to present and how you would intend to attend the inquiry (in person at WSM or remotely via Teams).

  • 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), Sam Hunter- Jones (Client Earth)
    13 SeptGreen Belt & Landscape
    20 SeptBREAK
    27 SeptPlanning Balance
    Conditions & S106 (Round Table Session)
    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!

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    Election Hustings 2021

    WHAT ARE ‘HUSTINGS’?

    A hustings is a meeting where election candidates or parties debate policies and answer questions from the audience. Hustings provide voters with an opportunity to hear the views of candidates or parties. When candidates or parties standing are invited, a hustings does not promote any particular candidate or party because they all have the opportunity to speak and be questioned.

    View of the hustings in Covent garden. PAG8569.

    The date of the elections is Thursday 6th May 2021.

    Hustings have been organised for the posts of BRISTOL CITY MAYOR and for the WEST OF ENGLAND COMBINED AUTHORITY METRO MAYOR. All the events mentioned below have been organised with COVID19 regulations in mind and so can only be attended remotely (online). To attend you need to order a place using the links below. Those attending can submit questions to the candidates but this has to be done in advance – usually when you book your place. We are encouraging people to query the candidates’ support for Bristol Airport’s expansion plans. The more questions submitted on this issue the more likely that it will be addressed during the event. Please note that some deadlines for submitting questions may have passed.

    GREEN CAPITAL PARTNERSHIP & Co HUSTINGS

    The following dates are organised by Bristol Green Capital Partnership in collaboration with Avon Wildlife Trust, Black & Green Ambassadors, Bristol Food Network, CPRE Bristol and Avon, Eastside Community Trust, Friends of the Earth, Sustrans and Extinction Rebellion.


    WECA Metro Mayor Elections – Responding to the Climate and Ecological Emergencies.
    Monday 19th April at 18.00
    Candidates confirmed to take part in the hustings are as follows:
    • Dan Norris – Labour Party
    • Jerome Thomas – Green Party
    • Samuel Williams – Conservative Party
    • Stephen Williams – Liberal Democrats

    Link for free tickets: https://bit.ly/3evnqv4

    Bristol Mayor Elections – Responding to the Climate and Ecological Emergencies.
    Tuesday 27th April at 18.00
    Candidates confirmed to take part in the hustings are as follows:
    • Alastair Watson, Conservative Party
    • Caroline Gooch – Liberal Democrats
    • Marvin Rees – Labour Party
    • Sandy Hore-Ruthven – Green Party

    Link for free tickets: https://bit.ly/3tdumAX

    BRISTOL FESTIVAL OF IDEAS HUSTINGS

    Bristol Festival of Ideas are organising similar ‘Crowdcast’ events but with discussions on a wider range of issues facing the candidates. Two more opportunities to push the Airport Expansion onto the agenda.

    Wednesday 21st April at 19.15. West of England Decides (Metro Mayor husting) Link: https://bit.ly/2PPN3wh

    Friday 23rd April at 19.15 Bristol Decides (Bristol City Mayor husting) Link: https://bit.ly/3l6Pgip

    BRISTOL 24/7 & WATERSHED HUSTINGS

    This set of hustings are organised for the dates below. Candidates will be asked a variety of questions by Bristol24/7 Editor and moderator Martin Booth and by anyone who would like to take part by submitting their questions in advance by emailing editor@bristol247.com. Emails should have the subject line ‘WECA Hustings’ and include your name and which area of Bristol you live in. Questions can also be submitted live on the night via YouTube’s chat function.

    Thursday 22nd April at 7.00pm WECA Mayoral Hustings. Link https://bit.ly/3sx2uXK Available to view via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYUGhMec4g0

    Thursday 29th April at 7.00pm Bristol City Mayoral Hustings. Link https://bit.ly/3edbdcO Available to view via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Jg6yFdgmJw