Members of Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) say they are delighted that the two-day hearing of their High Court statutory appeal against the airport’s controversial expansion plans will be held locally in Bristol and not London.
The dates of Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th November have been finalised for the hearing.
Bristol Airport argued that the case should have been heard in London because it was convenient for their ‘egal team However, BAAN said that the hearing should be in Bristol because the airport’s contested expansion plans had significant impact on the local area and the case has generated much local interest and people should have the opportunity to attend the hearing as is their democratic right.
In considering the arguments the High Court Judge, Mrs Justice Lang, said: “I accept the claimant’s (BAAN’s) submission that accessibility for local people, who will be directly affected by the proposed development, weighs more heavily in the balance than the convenience of (the airport’s) counsel, who expect to travel as part of their work. Clearly Bristol would be a more convenient venue for local people than London.”
Tonight one of BAAN’s coordinators, Tarisha-Finnegan Clarke, said: “This decision is highly significant for the supporters of the campaign to stop the airport from increasing its passenger capacity from 10 million to 12 million per year.
“So many people and local authorities felt the result of the 10-week public inquiry that overturned the clear vote by North Somerset Council to reject the airport’s expansion plans, was a huge travesty of local democracy. All of the local councils, the West of England Combined Authority and the several local MPs were against it and yet the planning inspectors said it could go ahead.
“Such was the outcry against the decision of the planning inspectors that we felt compelled to challenge the airport in the High Court with a statutory appeal. It seems only right that the challenge is heard in Bristol.”
The venue will be the Bristol Civil Justice Centre.
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