Bristol Live - Lewis Clarke

Bristol Airport has cleared a legal hurdle in the way of its proposed multi-million-pound expansion, but campaigners against the scheme say they will continue their fight. In January the High Court ruled that the airport's major expansion plans could go ahead following a lengthy legal battle, but a group called Bristol Airport Action Network appealed against the decision.

But today (Thursday, May 18) Bristol Airport announced that the appeal had been "refused on all grounds". A ruling found that there was not "real prospect of success" and no other compelling reason for the Court of Appeal to entertain an appeal. Bristol Airport’s plans to expand its maximum capacity from 10m to 12m passengers a year, had initially been refused planning permission by North Somerset Council in January 2020.

The airport's owner Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan later appealed to the Government, and the decision was overturned by the Planning Inspectorate in February 2022. The Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) had since been seeking various legal routes, including the High Court appeal, to try and overturn the Government's U-turn decision.

Bristol Airport has welcomed today's decision to reject the appeal, however BAAN has voiced concerns that it now means there is no longer any legal impediment to stop the airport ‘ignoring the huge majority of local opinion and democratic institutions that have rejected the airport’s plans’.

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