Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document Bristol Airport Q38. What are your thoughts on the four proposed options for a Bristol Airport policy in the new Local Plan 2036? Do you have a preferred option? [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 15298529//2
Respondent Butcombe Parish Council [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 04 Jan 2019

Butcombe Parish Council strongly supports ‘Option 1: Retain the existing policy’.

Butcombe Parish Council are particularly disappointed with the Local Plan’s wording of this consultation in respect of Bristol Airport. North Somerset Council has a duty of responsibility to residents of North Somerset to give a balanced approach to proposed development.  The opening paragraph extols the economic benefits but does not allude to any of the economic ‘dis-benefits’ such as the tourist deficit. Secondly, there is no recognition of the environmentally harmful activity of flying and airport operations/traffic generation in terms of local air quality and national carbon emissions. And lastly – and most importantly - not one of the options mentions the impacts on residents from traffic congestion on the A38 and small rural lanes, and also from unauthorised airport related parking, especially in and around Butcombe.

The current transport infrastructure cannot cope sustainably with current passenger levels, estimated at 8 million passengers per annum (mppa) for 2017, particularly when combined with the consequent increase in service and fuel delivery vehicles too. With growth beyond 10 mmpa, let alone to the Airport’s imminent planning application for up to 12 mmpa, there will not only be no respite from the existing problems, but incremental intensification.

North Somerset generally, and Butcombe in particular, suffer increasingly from the scourge of unauthorised airport car parking. This results in significant noise and light disturbance to residents, as well as causing adverse visual intrusion to the local rural landscape, and also resulting in the creation of dangerous vehicular ‘rat runs’ by operators along inappropriate rural lanes. Control of this blight is clearly beyond the capacity of North Somerset Council planning enforcement and the local community’s quality of life is increasing being adversely affected as a result.

The area around the Airport, including roads and lanes in Butcombe, is increasingly used by private cars and taxis waiting to collect passengers arriving at the Airport but not wishing to pay the Airport’s vehicle charge to access the pick-up area. This results in cars parking illegally and inconsiderately, and potentially jeopardising emergency vehicle access. It also brings with it the scourge of litter & detritus dropped from waiting vehicles, for example in New Road leading off the A38 near Redhill.

Neither does the Local Plan consider the effect of Airport generated activity on local air quality, with particular reference to vehicle emissions along the A38 close to the Airport.

Butcombe Parish Council would like to see the Local Plan support a coordinated approach to managing off-site passenger car parking, ideally via a formal Supplementary Planning Document adopted by North Somerset Council and partnered by the Airport.

Butcombe Parish Council particularly supports Option 1 because the solution to these issues does not lie simply in the easy option of further expansion of the Airport into the Green Belt in order to create more car parking but in the strategic identification of sustainably accessible off-site locations, serviced by public transport shuttles, in the wider West of England area.

We particularly highlight the omission of any reference in the Local Plan to the current Master Plan consultation currently being undertaken by Bristol Airport, which ought to be a material consideration in this discussion.

In conclusion Butcombe Parish Council supports ‘Option 1: Retain the existing policy’ as the only option that can possibly comply with North Somerset Council’s own stated policy CS23 on the Airport in the North Somerset Council Core Strategy Jan 2017 -

CS23: Bristol Airport

Proposals for the development of Bristol Airport will be required to demonstrate the

satisfactory resolution of environmental issues, including the impact of growth on surrounding communities and surface access infrastructure.

Strongly support Option 1 - doesn't support wording of policy - too focussed on economic benefits.