The Dundry Parish Council strongly opposes the planning application 18/P/5118/OUT by Bristol Airport for the following reasons:
* This application will directly increase noise pollution in the parish. Planes are passing over/by Dundry village on an increasingly regular basis. Any expansion will naturally make this worse, affecting the quality of life of this community. Dundry is currently not recognised as an affected village and therefore receives no mitigation or support. When the representatives of the airport visited Dundry for their consultation to these plans, in the Summer of 2018, they admitted verbally they were surprised by the noise levels at the village hall. We would note, given the elevation of the village, we are more affected by noise levels than is widely acknowledged. We strongly urge the airport to expand its affected areas further to include villages like Dundry that are clearly impacted in numerous ways. North Somerset Council should include this as a condition of any decision made.
* We are firmly against the relaxation of the night flight limits and would highlight this as a significant cause of worry and concern for our residents. This will clearly mean that the majority if not all the 1000 winter flight allocation would be moved to be used in the summer. Our residents are already adversely impacted in the summer, and their sleep is disturbed especially when they need to have their windows open in warm weather. This is one area North Somerset Council must challenge and should carefully consider the health implications of relaxing the seasonal night flight allocation. We urge North Somerset Council to conduct a noise assessment for communities such as Dundry before making a drastic change, such as the above, that will have profound impacts on the community.
* The traffic and car pollution on the A38 are unacceptable at current levels with a critical mass having already been reached. The transport and road infrastructure around the airport need to improve. It is concerning that the airport continues to push for further expansion without investment in non-road public services. This gives the impression that genuine concern and feedback on this is being ignored. The congestion on the A38 is significant especially around the roundabout by the airport and is particularly bad on Friday afternoons. This must be a priority before increasing the passenger numbers to 12 million. This is affecting the quality of life for our residents and commuters. Commuters can already experience delays of up to one hour to the centre of Bristol using the A38 causing significant stress. We note this is also the route for the local 672 bus service. The negative impacts on productivity on the local economy should also be strongly considered. Airport representatives themselves admit this is the only international airport of its size with no rail links or motorway nearby. This planning application has no tangible mitigation for increasing car traffic. There is no real infrastructure investment being proposed. We strongly urge North Somerset Council to consider the need for infrastructure investment before any approval for this expansion. The airport bus is too expensive and is not fit for purpose for residents such as Dundry to use or benefit from. It is cheaper to get a taxi for a family of 4 than use the bus service. The airport should be pro-actively trying to support the local community on opening the bus links and making the bus service more affordable. This lack of ambition by the airport is demonstrated by the fact that they only have a 15% target of airport passengers using public transport at 12 million passengers. North Somerset Council should strongly challenge this. Given this target, we would expect to see thousands of additional car movements on the A38 daily which is clearly unsustainable.
* Dundry is also affected by airport parking issues although admittedly to a lesser extent than other villages currently. Dundry does however, have cars parked around the village who will then use the airport causing issues. This is likely to become an increasing problem with growing numbers of passengers if this planning application is approved.
* The Dundry Parish Council would also highlight concerns around the 'North Somerset and Mendip Bats' Special Area of Conservation which is very close to the airport, and the bats in question (greater and lesser horseshoe bats) will be adversely affected by the increased light, noise, traffic etc from this application.
* North Somerset Council’s commitment to tackling Climate change will be in doubt if this application is approved in its current form. This vital issue should form a major part of any consideration given the CO2 increases that would accompany this expansion.
* This planning application is premature because it is not being considered in conjunction with other planning measures such as the West of England Joint Spatial Plan and the airport’s real goal of expanding to 20 million passengers per annum. For these reasons alone, the application should be rejected or “called in” for scrutiny by the Secretary of State. The impact of Brexit has also not been assessed.
In summary, if the expansion is approved without significant changes from North Somerset council in the form of tangible mitigation in several areas, it will adversely affect the entire local community through increasing congestion, pollution and noise. This is a rural community where the way of life for our residents is being rapidly changed for the worse. It could be argued that the airport is a net negative for the local community as the airport continues to ignore the strong views and opinions of residents that were expressed in the latest consultation. The Parish council respectfully asks North Somerset Council to consider these key concerns and reject this application so that the airport can provide a more sustainable plan.
Dundry Parish Council
Official information, minutes etc.
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