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Campaigners demand Bristol Airport inquiry

Campaigners opposing the expansion of Bristol Airport have demanded a public inquiry after North Somerset Council approved the plans.

Councillors backed the proposals in a vote but, as part of the approval, the project will be referred to secretary of state Eric Pickles due to development in the Green Belt. Airport chiefs will provide cash for a new link road, improved bus services and noise reduction measures as part of the scheme.

Agreed conditions also include the number of night flights (between 11.30pm and 6am) being limited and the number of passengers using the airport being less than 10 million each year.

The Stop Bristol Airport Expansion campaign group claimed there is “no valid policy to support approval, leaving the decision open to legal challenge”.

Spokesman Jeremy Birch said: “We believe the secretary of state must now send this decision to a public inquiry u002D and we will be calling for that. Obviously it is disappointing that North Somerset Council did not recognise the damaging impacts of the planned expansion by refusing permission. But the fight is not over.”

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