29 May 2009

Staverton Airport yet another step closer to expanding

The Bank View Farm redevelopment was approved by the Tewkesbury Borough Council's Development Control committee today, despite the planning officer’s recommendation for refusal. Shameful. This means Staverton Airport's plans to expand are yet another step closer. See my most recent blog here.

As regular readers of this blog will know, the Airport's four planning applications were discussed at the April Planning Committee meeting. The Committee decided to permit three of the applications. A decision on the Bank View Farm application was deferred until a later date to allow council officers time to assess the Airport's recent revision to their application. The revision has reduced the size of the replacement agricultural buildings.

The deferred application was looked at today and passed. Below is a letter from one of the campaigners earlier this month - I am not sure if the Airport now has the crucial bit of land? However apparently campaigners still have a few things up their sleaves.

On 1st May you reported me and other demonstrators opposing the expansion of Staverton airport. I was proud to be opposing the unpopular developments which have been widely rejected by communities, such as neighbouring parish councils. It is also worrying that Liberal Democrat Councillors, even from Churchdown, have betrayed people who elected them by approving the expansion plans. This is NOT a good example of local representative democracy. Your report, thought, missed a grand irony in all this – that the airport do not own or have access to crucial land it needs for one of its developments. So there has been all this struggle, Councillors in long meetings, much expenditure on consultants and Council officers time. But the airport actually applied for one of the developments on somebody else’s land. And that person has sent an objection to the development plans. Does this extraordinary arrogance from the airport indicate what we can expect in future? Where will it all end? Meanwhile, - the airport expansion plans will mean more jets roaring above us, coming lower over Cheltenham, and yet more helicopter hell. Liberal Democrat councillors do not seem to care about this or any of the other concerns about emissions, value for money etc. Luckily, plenty of good citizens still do, even if they have not been properly represented in this decision making. Alison Parfitt

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Letter a campaigner is sending to press:

In your editorial (May 29th) following the airports approval at Tewksbury, you say “Gloucestershire airport plays a key role in the local economy” and “The future of Gloucester’s businesses are looking better for the decision.”

In the same way that no evidence has been presented that the development works enhance safety, no evidence has been presented to prove the airport will enhance the local economy. The reverse is true; all the evidence is this development will be an expensive folly and a drain on local resources.

At a time when we all face steep rises in electricity bills to cover the costs of developing renewable power specifically to cut CO2 emissions, how can it possibly be of economical benefit to introduce a greenhouse gas intensive business? The environmental costs of airport expansions simply get transferred to the majority who will never use airports.

Economic studies have repeatedly shown that UK airports export more jobs than they create as they encourage holidaying abroad.

Oil price is back on an upward trajectory and approaching the pain threshold. It now stands at $65 per barrel and OPEC have warned that within 3 years, there will be major oil shortages. No oil means no flights, and no economic benefit.

Our schools and colleges are facing cut backs, yet we divert valuable funding and resources to backing a multi-million pound loan for a business that can not even produce a decent business plan.

The environmental cost of noise and pollution associated with an airport has not been taken into account. The poor health that residents experience around airports puts increased demand on health services.

Prince Charles is backing the scientific evidence that unless we make massive cuts in CO2 emissions within 6 years, we face catastrophe. This destroys the airport’s business strategy of profiting from the increased sale of jet fuel.