RESIDENTS from Almondsbury have said they may consider legal action after plans for a helicopter base were granted planning permission.

The site adjacent to the A38/M5 junction, which has been put forward by BAE Systems as a new base for the National Police Air Service and the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC), had been opposed by a large number of residents over concerns of noise pollution, night flights and the green belt.

Permission for the development was granted in October last year, but was quashed in a judicial review earlier this year, after residents argued the council had failed to impose a noise monitoring condition and properly investigate the environmental impact of the development.

But last Wednesday, South Gloucestershire Council’s development control committee granted permission for the proposals, offering the compromise that professional noise monitoring equipment be installed at the facility, and that a liaison group begins meeting once development begins, as opposed to when the base becomes active.

Julian Stinton, who spoke at the meeting last week on behalf of the protesters, said: “I am amazed at the lack of pertinent questions that were asked by the committee about the clear danger posed by this base to motorway users.

“The decision itself is wrong, there are no two ways about it.

“We will have to consider this with our solicitor and look at the options available to use. I would expect that if a legal challenge were to be made then we would definitely win, and with costs.”

The air ambulance service, which is currently situated at the former Filton Airfield, had been seeking a new home following plans to develop the airfield, with an expected 2,675 new homes on the way.

A GWAAC spokesman said: “GWAAC requires a new base location to ensure that we continue to be able to provide a vital, lifesaving service to the public and local community. Following the decision of the planning committee we hope to be in a position to move to our new home during 2017.”