Plans to extend runway by 164 metres at Southampton Airport set to be approved
CONTROVERSIAL plans are set to be approved next week to expand the runway at Southampton Airport whose flight paths pass over parts of the New Forest.
Civic chiefs at Eastleigh Borough Council are being recommended by planning officers to approve the proposals to extend the runway by 164 metres to enable larger planes to operate, writes Maria Zaccaro of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
The agenda for the meeting set to be held next Thursday has just been published, and shows a number of conditions have been included in any permission granted.
These include a cap to restrict vehicle movements to the airport to 2.45-million, and a noise insulation policy and noise action plan for residential and “sensitive non-residential buildings”. There must also be noise monitoring with annual report to the council.
Restrictions on night time flying, an air quality strategy and a carbon strategy will be also required.
Southampton City Council has objected to the scheme on the grounds of pollution, noise and climate change.
The committee report said: “In coming to a recommendation, officers have had regard to the high number of comments received, both in favour and against the proposals, together with the delivery of policy and technical requirements.
“Officers have also considered whether, given the potential for future changes in national policy on aviation and climate change, the application should be deferred, but they do not consider that this would be warranted since the national policy position is likely to continue to evolve for some time.
“For the same reasons, officers do not consider that refusal on prematurity grounds would be warranted.”
Southampton Airport has previously argued the expansion is vital for the future of the airport.
The runway expansion would allow the use of larger planes, such as Airbus 320 and Boeing 737.
In a statement the Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) campaign group said: “AXO is very disappointed to learn that the officers have recommended the runway extension be approved.
“Southampton City Council voted to oppose it because the economic benefits are limited compared to the very serious harms to local people from noise.”
The final decision will be taken by the Eastleigh local area committee on Thursday 25th March in a virtual meeting starting at 10am.