Councillor Sarah Warren, B&NES Cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel, who previously spoke out against the Bristol Airport expansion at the North Somerset Planning Committee meeting, and again during the airport’s appeal hearings, has responded to the High Court ruling that Bristol Airport expansion can go ahead.

“This is a deeply disappointing result. This decision flies in the face of overwhelming public opposition to further unwarranted and polluting development at Bristol Airport and completely ignores both the climate emergency and democratic decision-making.

“It exposes local communities to continued and accelerating degradation of their quality of life and wellbeing, and trumpets the power of international investors, working through their lawyers, to work with impunity against the vital interests of the very communities where they take root.

“Local communities, along with almost all local MPs, Local Authorities and civil groups, have been united in calling for this excessive airport expansion to be halted, yet these voices have been overruled, completely undermining local democracy.

“B&NES opposed airport expansion and we remain steadfast in our opposition. We will continue to fight to protect the interests and wellbeing of our communities who face harm and blighted prospects from these utterly ill-conceived plans. Communities in North East Somerset already suffer from noise, pollution and excessive airport traffic. We desperately need mitigation through a deliverable and sustainable transport plan for getting people to and from the airport.

“This outcome emphasises the urgent need for a root and branch overhaul of airport policy at a national level, to bring policy into line with the advice the government has received from its own Climate Change Committee. We need a firm cap on airport capacity, so that planning applications are seen from a national aggregated perspective and not piecemeal, to ensure that increased capacity will only be allowed at one airport if there is a corresponding drop in capacity elsewhere. Any other approach puts in jeopardy and calls into doubt the government’s seriousness in staying true to its legally binding Net Zero targets.

“BAAN, local groups and individuals have shown such courage and integrity in the fight against this expansion. We will work with them, other Councils and partner organisations as we address the inevitable damage and fallout which will come from this decision.”

Metro Mayor Dan Norris had his say on the decision here: