THE DECISION to close Filton Airfield received a renewed swell of opposition this week after proposed redevelopment plans for the site were made public.

Attendees expressed their concern and frustration at two consultations held by South Gloucestershire Council on Monday and Tuesday.

Despite BAE Systems’ claims that regenerating the airfield would stimulate the local economy, create up to 7,000 jobs and strengthen the existing cluster of companies at Filton, many people remained sceptical.

Traffic and congestion were on everybody’s minds as plans to build affordable housing on the site were revealed.

Engineer Richard Davey, from Bradley Stoke, attended the exhibition on Monday.

He said: "During rush hour traffic is a nightmare. It will be even worse if they build houses there.

"Closing the airfield is a huge waste of opportunity.

"I don’t think that the efforts that were made to make it viable were focused."

Mohammed Nejad has been a flying instructor at Filton airfield for 12 years. Although he was delighted to hear that a museum dedicated to Concorde and the site’s aviation heritage could be built on the airfield, he saw the plan as deeply flawed.

He said: "Other countries would treasure an airfield like this one, not try to sell it or talk about building houses on it, even affordable housing.

"It is going to take them a very long time to dig up the 7 feet deep of concrete on the land."

Several people were not convinced that the regeneration would create thousands of jobs or attract new businesses.

Janet Hillier, from Filton, said: "They can’t promise jobs. An awful lot of jobs have been lost in Filton over the years.

"So they would have to bring jobs from the outside. There are still a lot of questions to be answered."

She added: "Housing on the site doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever. We don’t want any more traffic than we already have."

BAE Systems real estate director Andrew Cheesman said no parts of the land would be sold to developers until their final proposal received planning permission.