'Save Filton Airfield', Labour councillor begs airport commission
FILTON Airfield should be safeguarded, a councillor has told an independent commission formed to consider the future of aviation in the UK.
Labour Cllr for Filton Ian Scott made a last-ditch attempt to halt plans to build around 5,000 homes on and around the iconic runway and the Cribbs Causeway area in a letter to Airports Commission chairman Sir Howard Davies.
The panel is charged with examining the need for additional airport capacity in the country.
It launched a consultation over the summer, asking for suggestions on how to improve air transport for passengers.
Having looked at all the submissions, one of which includes proposals for a Severnside Airport to replace those in Cardiff and Bristol, the body will make recommendations to the government.
In his letter, Cllr Scott urged Sir Howard to save the birthplace of Concorde, insisting demolishing it would be "madness"
"National action is needed now before it is too late," he said. "It seems madness at a time when we need more runway capacity, the nation is allowing an existing long-established airfield to be demolished.
"Nationally there is a recognition, that there is a need for immediate action to improve the use of existing runway capacity but it does appear that nationally no one is looking at protecting one of Britain’s finest existing and strategically placed airfield, Filton Airfield."
BAE Systems announced their decision to shut the airfield back in 2011.
The site was then earmarked for housing in South Gloucestershire Council's 14-year planning blueprint, known as its core strategy.
The decision sparked an outcry from campaigners but despite their attempt to see it quashed, the plans were backed by a government inspector.
In his letter, Cllr Scott again slammed the housing development plans in Filton.
"Filton Airfield should be considered as part of the solution to your national review and should not be allowed to be ruled out by the Inspector conducting the examination in public of South Gloucestershire’s core strategy in the meanwhile," he said.
"It is not in the national interest to build houses on one of the best airfield solutions in the country, close to the M4 and M5 interchange and the rail interchange around Bristol Parkway linked to the freight railline next to Filton Airfield."
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