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Home / News and Insights / Press / Why was the legal challenge against Bristol Airport expansion unsuccessful?

The decision by the secretary of state for Levelling-up, Housing and Communities to allow Bristol Airport to increase its passenger cap from £10 million to £12 million per year sparked controversy among pressure groups with Bristol Airport Action Network Co-ordinating Committee legally challenging the proposal.

In an article for New Civil Engineer partner Angus Walker explores why the challenge proved unsuccessful looking at each of the grounds raised in turn.

The first ground was about interpretation of North Somerset Council’s policies. There were two relevant policies but they actually said very little on carbon emissions specifically. The judge held that the two inspectors granting the planning appeal were entitled to decide how emissions were to be dealt with under the policies.  They decided that the emissions from airport expansion, likely to comprise 0.22-0.28% of the planning assumption for aviation across the country used in the fourth and fifth carbon budgets, would not have a material impact on the government’s achievement of those budgets, and so the expansion would not be contrary to the development plan. The judge held that that was a rational application of the policies.

To read the article in full, please visit the New Civil Engineer website.

To hear more from Angus Walker, subscribe to the Planning Act 2008 blog.

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