Bristol Airport wish to tell Backwell of the dates and places of the various presentations outlining the proposed expansion. The biggest impact will be on Downside and its surrounding area. The two immediate dates that we need to be aware of are Monday the 15th January at the Parish Hall 12 noon till 3 pm and then Saturday 20th January from 11am until 4pm at the Airport Hilton Hotel.

Although the representatives of the Airport have met some of our residents (especially those who could be under the threat of compulsory purchase) there seems to be very little contact with other residents at Downside and the Batch. This also goes for the businesses that operate on Downside Road such as Pearces, Tall Pines Golf Club etc. When BPC spoke to the Airport they assured us that everyone had or would receive the leaflet explaining the 3 options but that the leaflet did NOT contain the response questionnaire. The only communication mechanisms given were on the last page of the leaflet were the email address and website and so residents do not know how to comment if they have no access to the internet.

The Parish Council will be present at both of these events and we have arranged for a quantity of questionnaires to be delivered to the Parish Council Office and we are going to deliver as many as we can to the properties in The Batch and Downside this week. These should be delivered by Saturday but they will also be available from the parish council office (01275 464653).

Our community needs to understand the impacts of the proposed airport expansion on local residential properties, businesses and farming community. Potential known impacts are:

  • Compulsory purchase plus subsequent demolition of residential properties on Downside Road along the Airport Boundary
  • Devaluation of propertiescomparable other possible airport expansions haveshown there will be about a 25% reduction in local house prices
  • The problem for owners near possible expansion sites is the long wait for a decision
  • Owners cannot claim compensation from a public body, through the serving of a Statutory Blight Notice, until a proposal is “safeguarded” (once it has secured planning consent which could be years away).
  • Then there is also the impact there will be fromthe extra noise levels and light pollution from the extra flights and car park noises
  • Why do the new car parkshave to be adjacent to Downside Road and where isthe buffer zone?

The biggest concern remains “blight”, and not just for those whose homes may one day be demolished because those living close to but not within a development zone are likely to affected too. Under legislation those living immediately outside the development area but whose house values are damaged cannot begin any process for possible compensation until one year after the project has been completed. (Source Knight Frank’s James Del Mar) In the meantime, they have noise, disruption and little chance of moving home. A full public enquiry must be insisted upon, because the success of any future further development will depend on significant public investment regarding the required transport infrastructure and will impact on properties over a considerable area including those in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The Parish Council is also working and in contact with other local Councils (Wrington, Winford, Brockley, Cleeve etc.) aiming to have a joined-up approach to fighting any proposed expansions until the Public investment required for the necessary transport infrastructure has been fully agreed and investment appropriated.