Southampton Airport expansion: Campaigners want government to look at decision to allow longer runway

CAMPAIGNERS are asking a government minister to examine a decision that will allow Southampton Airport’s runway to be expanded.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 11:40 am

Airport campaign group AXO Southampton have written to the Secretary of State for Communities Robert Jenrick asking for the planning application to extend the runway at Southampton Airport to be called in for scrutiny.

As reported, 22 councillors voted in favour of the approval, 13 against and one abstained.

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It comes as the proposals proved controversial with some raising concerns over the impact on noise and climate change and others saying the move would boost the local economy and create new jobs.

Now campaigners want Robert Jenrick to call in the proposals.

The move is expected to lead to a public inquiry, with the final decision expected to be made by the Secretary of State himself.

Going for Green

Member of AXO Lyn Brayshaw said: ‘There is a clear conflict between government policy in the Climate Change Act to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and expansion of the airport which will result in hundreds of thousand tons a year of additional greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, serious noise impacts will extend well beyond the boundaries of Eastleigh Borough, with more residents in Southampton being seriously affected than in Eastleigh, and large numbers in Winchester as well. This caused both Councils to object to the application. Other applications have been called in for similar reasons, and we believe the Secretary of State should now do so in this case.’

The news comes as plans to redevelop Leeds Bradford Airport has been delayed to allow Robert Jenrick more time to consider it.

Nick Sebley from Portsmouth Climate Action Board said: ‘There's no such thing as a carbon neutral airport. It’s an insult to our intelligence to pretend there is. More importantly this sort of greenwash is lethal: if every carbon intensive industry keeps arguing its expansion is necessary and can be offset then it’s game over for our civilisation.’

The Secretary of State for Communities and Southampton Airport have been approached for comment.