No chance for U-turn on Southampton Airport expansion approval

A CONTROVERSIAL airport expansion will go ahead after the deadline for a government call-in passed.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 8:55 pm

Southampton Airport has confirmed that there is no further opportunity for the government to call-in a decision made in April to expand the runway by 164 metres.

Earlier today (June 3) Eastleigh Borough Council announced that the final planning agreements have been formally signed off.

The council said it had informed the government it intended to sign off the final agreements by the end of May.

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Southampton Airport will be able to expand its runway

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But the authority did not receive any response from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and planning permission has therefore been formally granted.

Southampton Airport said this is the end of the formal decision-making process and there is no further opportunity for the government to call-in the runway or intervene.

The airport also said the government had an opportunity to call-in the scheme, but it has not done so.

In April the ministry said it had received a number of requests to call in the plans.

The move followed concerns over the impact the runway expansion would have on noise and pollution.

Following today’s announcement Steve Szalay, the airport’s operations director said: ‘Another huge milestone reached, thank you to everyone for their support. The signing of the section 106 agreement means we have been granted full planning permission to deliver the 164 metre runway extension and in doing so we can not only safeguard the jobs of our airport colleagues, but are now able to create a further 265 more through construction.

‘This is why we are keen to get started as soon as possible and deliver what we have been consulting on.’

Among the details formally agreed today there are a cap of three million passenger per year and the establishment of a community health fund.

As previously reported, the plans sparked a heated debate among the local community.

Campaigners and some residents called for the plans to be refused on the grounds of climate change, noise and pollution.

But others asked for the plans to be approved saying the move would boost the local economy and create new jobs.

In a statement the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: ‘The council has now issued the decision on the Southampton Airport planning application.

‘This means that the secretary of state does not have the option to consider calling it in.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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