Published date 23rd Sep 2021

Taking a stand: West of England Combined Authority and Joint Committee oppose Bristol Airport expansion plans

Dan Norris with kids doing some gardening

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris has led action to help tackle the climate emergency, with the West of England Combined Authority and West of England Joint Committee opposing Bristol Airport’s expansion plans.

The formal opposition to the airport expansion was agreed at a joint meeting of the committees on 21 September. The opposition will now be submitted to the Government’s current Planning Inquiry, after Bristol Airport appealed against North Somerset Council’s decision to refuse it planning permission to expand beyond 10 million passengers a year.

The meeting, held at Watermore Primary School, in Frampton Cotterell, was an opportunity for the Metro Mayor to listen to young people to understand their hopes and concerns for the environment, and make sure that they have the support and opportunity to be involved in action to address the climate emergency.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Plans to expand Bristol Airport are badly-judged, badly-timed, and bad for our planet. This vote sends an important signal to people living across the West of England that politicians are prepared to show moral leadership and listen to public opinion.

“I am grateful to Watermore Primary for kindly hosting this meeting. I think it’s important for politicians to take decision-making out into local communities, and the children were clear thinking, straight-talking, and passionate about their future.”

The West of England Combined Authority and Joint Committee voted in favour of the opposition motion led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris. The motion featured amendments including recognising the need for a just transition to a greener economy that does not leave Bristol Airport workers worse-off; the importance of the wider aerospace centre of excellence at Filton to the region’s economy, skills base and industrial heritage; and ongoing efforts being pioneered locally by industry to decarbonise aviation, including through the Jet Zero initiative.

The West of England Combined Authority is also developing additional investment opportunities to support the Green Recovery Fund and Climate Emergency Action Plan – to further protect and enhance the natural environment. It will report back to the next joint meeting of the committees in October.

To achieve maximum impact from the fund, projects will be developed in line with the five key themes included within the Climate Emergency Action Plan:

  1. Accelerating the shift to low carbon transport
  2. Improving our buildings & placemaking
  3. Enabling clean smart affordable energy
  4. Fostering Clean Growth & Innovation
  5. Protecting, preserving & enhancing the environment

Focusing on these areas will help the region to tackle the larges sources of

emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. In developing projects through

the Green Recovery Fund, the West of England Combined Authority will focus activity and action using the levers in which we have the most impact and control over. We need our councils and key stakeholders to work together to help us deliver the West of England’s ambition to reach net zero carbon by 2030.

Homeowners across the West of England can also play their part in cutting carbon emissions and save money on their energy bills by registering with our West of England Solar Together group buying scheme for solar panels and battery storage by 28 September. Visit www.solartogether.co.uk/west-of-england  to find out more.

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