Portsmouth council will not support Southampton Airport expansion

Southampton Airport is seeking an extension to its runway.Southampton Airport is seeking an extension to its runway.
Southampton Airport is seeking an extension to its runway.
THE CITY council will not support Southampton Airport's bid for a longer runway amid concerns over the environmental impact.

Portsmouth councillors voted against a proposal to write to Eastleigh Borough Council's planning committee in favour of the plans, which would see the runway extended by 164m (538ft).

A final decision on the runway expansion, which will increase the number of flights and allow the use of larger planes, is expected next year after its original date of December 17 was pushed back.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Read More
Second consultation is launched for Southampton Airport expansion

Conservative group leader for Portsmouth, Councillor Donna Jones, made the case for backing the plans during a virtual full council meeting this week.

She said: 'The airport employed and supported over 1,000 jobs pre-Covid and helped sustain thousands more jobs in hotels, taxi trade, cruise industry, car hire and many more industries.

'Sadly over 400 people have already lost their jobs and the remaining roles are now at threat. The pandemic of 2020 has led to the main carrier, Flybe, going into administration and as a consequence the future of the airport is seriously at risk of closure.

'It's not about an expansion to the airport, it's about keeping is as it is but keeping it open and saving jobs that are so important to our local economy.'

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, Lib Dem Cllr Will Purvis said: 'I just don't believe the economic case does stack up. I think we will see Flybe or another carrier come back. This absolutely is about airport expansion I'm afraid.

'People living in the flight path will experience worse air pollution. The case for expanding Southampton Airport is not justified when there is so much capacity at other airports.'

Deputations from environmental groups were also heard at the meeting.

Selma Heimedinger, from Extinction Rebellion Southsea, said: 'Right now, we need a collective vision which preserves the world for our children and grandchildren to inherit.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

'Therefore, the “main ecological cost” of the Southampton Airport expansion is not “loss of grass”. It is a loss of all aspects of our environment, including clean air, wildlife, nature, fauna, an environment that we rely on to survive.'

A total of 23 councillors voted against the motion, with 16 for and one abstention.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news online - as well as fewer adverts, access to our digital edition and mobile app.

Our trial offer starts at just £2 a month for the first two months.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.