PLANS to move the base for police and ambulance helicopters have been criticised by a local resident.

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) and Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) helicopter services both operate from Filton but with the development of the area a new base is required.

They held a joint consultation discussing proposals to create a new base on land not far from the Almondsbury Interchange.

Julian Stinton who lives in The Hill, Almondsbury has criticised the plans for the base within Bristol’s green belt.

Along with several other relatives they will be handing out leaflets to people across the area highlighting their concerns about the proposals.

He wrote that the new base would not only affect people living in the village but also people using the busy junction and that the helicopters could create a dangerous distraction to drivers.

“The only losers are the families who live in Almondsbury who will be blasted by maximum power aero engines and the thousands of users of the complicated and inherently dangerous Almondsbury Motorway Junction (where cars and lorries, vans and coaches have to navigate up to 4 lanes of traffic) who will be put at greater risk by helicopters zooming into the sky,” he said.

“Just imagine the RAC Tower going up and down in your eye-line, and very close by, while you’re trying to get into the correct lane.”

“A lot of people don’t even realise that the base is going to be there,” added Mr Stinton. “They think it will be further down the M5 and won’t affect them.

“We are in the process of getting leaflets sent out to everyone in the village to make sure they’re aware of what is being planned.”

Property consultants Alder King have been exploring potential new sites for the two services to be based and the Almondsbury site was chosen as most suitable.

They have held two public consultations in Almondsbury to discuss the plans with nearby residents.

Both helicopter services have expressed their support for the proposed site. John Christensen, chief executive of the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, said: "Not only would the new site give us a better base to operate from but it would also give us and the local community the confidence that our service will continue uninterrupted.

“Also, it is only a short distance from where we are now, so response times would remain the same."

Avon and Somerset's chief superintendent, Caroline Peters, said: “Now that our specialist air unit has assessed the site and shown that it is actually better operationally than remaining in the redeveloped former airfield, we support the move to the new location.