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About us

CASE are local residents concerned about plans to expand Gloucestershire (Staverton) airport.

 

Website produced with the assistance of Cheltenham Friends of the Earth.

 

 

© CASE 2009

 

 

CASE

CASE

This web site has been set up by CASE to communicate up-to-date information on Gloucestershire Airport plans to expand by implementing their 'five-year plan'.

Initially the expansion plans received a limited amount of coverage in the local media. Local residents were made aware of the proposals only by the statutory planning notices posted at the airport gates. We believe that the potential impact of the plans are so great that they should be debated fully.

The background and status pages provides some background into the airports plans and useful contact information has been collected on the contacts page.

If you would like more information, or if you have any information that you would like added to this web site, email us and we will do what we can.

Our response to the JASWG report can be downloaded here.

Latest News

If you have some relevant new that should appear here, please email us.

28th May 2009

Today the Tewkesbury Borough Council planning committee voted 6 to 5 in favor of permitting the demolition of Bank View Farm. This decision was deferred from the previous planning committee meeting last month.

21st May 2009

The planning application decision that was deferred at the April Planning Committee meeting will be considered at their next meeting on Thursday 28th May 2009 at 09:00.

Once againt the planning officer handling the applications has recommended that the Committee refuse permission for this application.

The appendix containing the officers reports and recommendations for this application is currently at this address :

http://tinyurl.com/o75hel

30th April 2009

The decisions of the planning committee are :

06/01668/FUL - RESA - Permitted
06/01669/FUL - Access Road - Permitted
06/01670/FUL - Bank View Farm - Deferred
06/01671/FUL - Blenheim House (Cattery) - Permitted

We expect the deferred application to be reassessed by the planning officers and put before the planning committee in a month or two.

23rd April 2009

The four planning applications submitted by the Airport in 2006 will be considered by the Tewkesbury Borough Council (TBC) Planning Committee on the 30th April 2009.

The planning officer handling the applications has recommended that the Committee permit three of the applications and refuse the fourth.

The agenda for the meeting states that "The Committee will adjourn for a second time at 2.05pm for a site visit by all Members of the Planning Committee to the Gloucestershire Airport sites [Agenda Item 5c, applications 1-4 on the Planning Schedule]. The Committee will then reconvene, not before 3.30pm, to consider applications 1-4 at Agenda Item 5c)."

The appendix containing the officers reports and recommendations for item 5c is currently at this address :

http://tinyurl.com/c57fm6

16th January 2009

Yesterday evening Glos City Council decided to endorse the recommendations of he Cabinet and support the Airport's plans.

This decision is dependent on a sucessful re-evaluation of the the Airport business plan. It will also require Cheltenham Borough Council to agree to compensate the Council for the five acres of their land required to extend the Airport to accomodate the modified runway.

10th January 2009

CASE has issued a checklist to councillors setting out why the airport plans should not
proceed. The checklist shows why the airport’s case for the developments is without any foundation, and how the developments will equip the airport for intensifying its operations.

Three challenges have also been issued to local councillors, covering the nonexistent housing threat to the airport, the councils’ failure to consider the airport’s environmental and social impacts, and that lack of independent scrutiny of the airport’s business case. The press release can be downloaded here.

11th December 2008

This evening Glos City Council Cabinet decided to endorse the recommendations of he 'Overview and Scrutiny Management' committee and support the Airport's plans.

The matter is now likely to go to the next meeting of the full Council on the 15th Jan 2009 for a final decision.

3rd December 2008

Last night Glos City Council 'Overview and Scrutiny Management' Committee voted to recommend that the Cabinet support the Airport's plans.

The meeting began at 18:00. In the half hour before it started there was a peaceful demonstration, by opponents of the plans, on the steps of the Council offices. Featuring a cheque made out to the 'Gloucestershire Airport White Elephant' for 'Many many millions of pounds' and a banner featuring a flying white elephant emitting clouds of CO2 from its behind.

The meeting itself was addressed by representatives of the Airport, CASE (Concerned residents Against Staverton Expansion), Gloucester Environment and Ecology Forum, Cheltenham Borough Council, Glos University Business School, Gloucestershire First, local Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses. Three members of Glos City Council also addressed the meeting, two of whom are also directors of the Airport.
Several members of the public also had the opportunity to address the meeting, all speaking out against the proposals.

The presentation by CASE featured an explanation of the concerns of local residents, a report by a Chartered Accountant which highlighted the serious flaws in Airport's business case, and the an outline of the environmental case against the expansion.

In particular, we felt that the statement given by the CAA to Glos City Council :

"the CAA have confirmed that they are currently satisfied with the Airport's management of the variations" and that "in the absence of significant changes to the operations at the Airport they are likely to remain satisfied"

showed that there was no danger of further restrictions being imposed on the Airport. This CAA statement contradicted the Airport's justification for their plans, which is based on making improvements to prevent further restrictions.

However, after a brief deliberation the Committee unanimously decided to recommend that the Cabinet be advised to support the Airports plans.

24th November 2008

Gloucester City Council Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee will meet at 18:00 on Tuesday 2nd December 2008 to decide whether to recommend supporting the Airport's business plan. The meeting is open the public and there will be the opportunity for the public to ask questions. The Airport has been appealing for it's supporter to attend
the meeting and demonstrate support for their plans. We feel it is important to balance this with the views of local people who do not want their council taxes spent on a risky scheme that will expand the Airport. If you can attend this meeting, please do so.

This meeting will be held at the Council offices :

Gloucester City Council
North Warehouse
The Docks
Gloucester
GL1 2EP

4th November 2008

We understand that the Airport's plans will be discussed by Gloucester City Council Scrutiny Committee at a special meeting to be held at the end of November or the beginning of December.

3rd November 2008

Gloucestershire Airport has announced that three more flights per week will be added to the scheduled service offered by Manx2.

2nd September 2008

Gloucestershire Airport has announced that an additional flight each Friday will be added to the scheduled service offered by Manx2.

12th July 2008

The regional development agency has concluded that there is not enough proof of the economic benefits from airport expansion and will not be putting any further funding into expanding the region’s airports. The news of this decision has been broken today by campaigners opposing airport expansion in the South West after they obtained the information from the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) under the Freedom of Information Act. Full press release here.

5th March 2008

Gloucester City Cabinet withdrew the Airport item from their agenda this evening. The matter has been defered until a later date.

3rd March 2008

This evening some 25 protesters from CASE, Gloucestershire Airport Action Group, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud Green parties, Friends of the Earth, Plane Stupid and others held a candelit vigil for common sense before the Gloucester City Council Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee meeting.

Protesters then went inside to hear the discussions and even participate in the debate. They were delighted that the committees recommendation was not to support plans to expand Staverton Airport.

Bryan Meloy, coordinator of Gloucester Green party said: "The way Cheltenham Town Council seemed to rubber stamp this airport expansion plan had left me deeply concerned for the state of democracy. Gloucester City Council Scrutineers have tonight demonstrated far greater understanding of the issues and I hope that this level of competence and integrity will continue to be seen in Cabinet on Wednesday."

Philip Booth, a Stroud District councillor (Green) and member of Gloucestershire Airport Action Group who joined the demonstration said: "The report by the Joint Airport Scrutiny Working Group failed to properly address any of the real concerns of expanding this airport. It is no wonder, as there is no economic or environmental justification for supporting this expansion. It is good that these councillors have recognised this and
recommended rejection of the expansion plans. This is a positive result. We now trust that Cabinet and Council will also recognise the wisdom and sense in this decision. "

If the recomendations of the Scrutiny Committee are endorsed by the Cabinet at their next meeting on Wednesday 5th March 2008 it could mean that the airport will be unable to implement their expansion plans.

2nd March 2008

Gloucester City Council Scrutiny Committee are meeting tomorrow to discuss the JASWG report. The agenda for the meeting indicates that the press and public will be excluded from this debate.

12th February 2008

Cheltenham Borough Council Cabinet have approved the Airport's plans.

11th February 2008

The time of the Cheltenham Bourough Council Cabinet meeting tomorrow has been revised from 4pm to 5pm.

6th February 2008

Our response to th JASWG report can be downloaded here.

4th February 2008

CASE campaigners joined forces with other campaigners from across the South West yesterday to discuss major concerns about airport expansion with the region’s MPs at Westminster.
 
The campaigners used the occasion to launch a new umbrella organisation, "AirportWatch South West", which will represent a powerful unified voice to fight issues such as increased noise disturbance for local communities, increased traffic congestion, and huge rises in climate changing emissions from aircraft, balanced against unproven
economic benefits from regional airport growth.

21st January 2008

The Gloucester City Council Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee deferred their decision on the airport business plan while they wait for the airport's response to the proposal for a ceiling on the number of flights.

16th January 2008

Cheltenham Borough Council’s Economy and Business Improvement Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered a recommendation from the Joint Airport Scrutiny Working Group (JASWG) that the business case for Gloucestershire Airport’s plans is approved.

The scrutiny committee voted to support the airport's business plan. However they also decided that a 'cap' on the number of flights will be part of the airport's green policy, to be prepared in 'early 2008'.

The voting was not unanimous, and some of the committee members will prepare a separate report that expresses their view that the Cabinet should not support the business plan.

Copies of the JASWG report are available online.

9th January 2008

On 16 January 2008, Cheltenham Borough Council’s Economy and Business Improvement Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be considering a recommendation from the Joint Airport Scrutiny Working Group (JASWG) "that the business case for Gloucestershire Airport’s plans is approved by cabinet".  If the committee endorse the recommendation, it will be passed to cabinet for final decision. The same recommendation will go to Gloucester City Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee meeting on 21 January 2008. 

The lack of rigour in the Working Group's report is disturbing. It reads like a fireside chat with the airport, resulting in a few soft conditions to accompany the airport business plan.

Its report lacks proper scrutiny and independence - it simply accepts the messages of the airport and does not probe them in any detail. The airport has successfully headed off most of the Working Group's questions that count, and which need fuller examination to tease out the real issues.

The working Group makes the ridiculous assumption that all the economic effects of the airport would be positive. This cannot be so and worries about economic impacts and the dented image of an area saddled with an expanding airport need urgent investigation.

It beggars belief that noise impacts are covered in one small paragraph in the whole report. This is an insult to the people and businesses affected by the noise disturbance from planes, jets and helicopters. The Working Group proposes that noise impacts and environmental impacts be dealt with under a 'green policy' adopted by the airport. This is a feeble and unacceptable way of addressing real issues which affect people's
everyday lives and the image of the area.

To tuck away the awkward issues in a bit of bureaucracy and a few procedural hoops (to be called a 'green policy') is a classic avoidance trick. By suggesting such a flimsy way of handling such serious issues, councilors are treating local people with contempt.

It is alarming that so much local council tax payers' money should rest on such a flimsy piece of work, which lacks proper independence.

Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucester City have been left with no basis on which to make a decision.

20th/21st October 2007

Camp Hope

Inspired by the Camp for Climate Action 2007 activists and local residents organised a camp to protest against the expansion of Gloucestershire Airport at Staverton. "Camp Hope" took place at a location opposite the entrance to the airport over the weekend of 20/21 October.

Some of the visitors to the camp travelled across the country, and others were very local. Local organisations, such as Cheltenham Friends of the Earth and the Gloucester Green Party were represented, as well as organisations such as Stop Bristol Airport Expansion and Plane Stupid. The majority of visitors on Saturday attended the talks and workshops, and a hard core stayed overnight, camping in sub-zero temperatures. A large yurt, complete with wood burning stove, provided surprisingly comfortable accommodation for many of the campers.

Over the weekend the camp was visited by BBC and ITV camera crews, radio reporters and journalists from the local newspapers. The main speaker on the Saturday was David Drew MP.

12th October 2007

CASE and Cheltenham Friend of the Earth meet Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood to discuss the airports plans. Martin describes the document issued by the airport (see 9th September, below) as "ridiculous". Having read the document he told us that "on the one hand there was the consensus of us, the Government and the IPCC, and on the other hand, Gloucestershire Airport".

The alternatives to expanding the airport were also discussed, in particular the viability of keeping the airport much as it is; an option supported by an analysis by aviation consultants Mott Mac. In light of this new evidence, Martin told us that he may reconsidering his support for the airport expansion.

9th October 2007

We now know that the Tewkesbury BC planners will not consider the airport's planning applications until November, at the earliest. Clearly they see the expansion as an issue, as they have spent nearly a year analysing the applications to judge if, and to what extent, there will be 'intensification'.

9th September 2007

Mayor Condemns 'Airport Lunacy'

Friends of the Earth have received an internal Gloucestershire Airport document that rubbishes the science of climate change. Titled “Gloucestershire Airport Common Misconceptions”, it was recently circulated to a number of local MPs and a select group of Cheltenham Borough Councilors. It was leaked to Cheltenham FoE so they could offer their comments on the airport’s defense of their planned expansion. In an airport marketing campaign marked by underhand tactics this latest revelation sees the airport stoop to a new low.

Cheltenham Mayor, John Rawson, on seeing the report said, “I am utterly shocked that the Airport should be promoting the idea that climate change is a hoax and that the world's scientists and governments are systematically pulling the wool over people's eyes. This is lunatic stuff"

For the first time in many months the local press have been properly critical of the airport's plans. Furthermore the initial Echo article led to numerous letters on the subject with the 'safety measures' argument being thoroughly debunked.

A copy of the airport's document can be downloaded from here and the ful press relase from Cheltenham Friends of the Earth from here.

3rd September 2007

Gloucestershire airport launch their first commercial services for thirteen years. Twice daily flights to the Isle on Man and weekly flights to Jersey are now available.

We believe that these new services are part of the airport’s expansion strategy set out in their recently published business plan. They propose to extend the airport runway, and pay for this with significantly more commercial and business traffic.

The airport claim that their plans are all about safety, but having read their business plan this is clearly not the case. The airport aim to attract dramatically more commercial and business flights. Changing the nature of the airport as the larger aircraft required to fund the changes displace the light aircraft that currently dominate.

There can only be two outcomes for the council tax payers of Gloucester and Cheltenham. They will either have to bail out the airport if the business fails, or they will suffer more noise and pollution from the airport as it ramps up the number of jet aircraft to obtain a return on the investment.

18th July 2007

Cheltenham Borough Council responds to questions about the airport. The Economy and Business Improvement Overview and Scrutiny Committee responded to a question from a member of the public today. The question concerned the effect of the airport on global warming. Disappointingly the response was taken straight from the airports own web site. One wonders how the Committee can subject the airport proposals to any scrutiny if the only source of information that they have is supplied by the airport.

26th June 2007

A total of eight new jet aircraft have been ordered by European Skytime, one of the operators based at the airport. Although these aircraft cannot currently use the runways Skytime's commercial manager James Shotten said should "Staverton be able to take larger aircraft in the future his company would make further use of the airport".

We believe that this type of operation would lead to further pressure to extend opening hours and lead to more early morning and evening flights.

7th June 2007

Noise complaints can now be submitted online using the airports new web site. The home page is at www.gloucestershireairport.co.uk and the noise complaint form is at :

www.gloucestershireairport.co.uk/LogComplaint.php

6th June 2007

The Churchdown Parish Council web site (www.churchdown-pc.gov.uk) has announced a consultation session with the airport :
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday 11th June
Drop in consultation for Runway Safety Project in conjunction with development with the Airport. Between 5.15pm and 8.15pm in the Parish Council Chamber at the Churchdown Parish Council Offices Parton Road Churchdown

Members of the Gloucestershire Airport Management Team will be available to answer questions.

For further information telephone 01452 857700.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

15th May 2007

Airport goes public with expansion plans.

The Gloucester Echo has published an article describing a planned dramatic increase in the number of commercial flights from the airport - despite earlier claims by the airport the plans for commercial flights had been shelved (Echo, 20th March 2007).

This increase in commercial flights is in addition to the planned increase in training circuits using the Instrument Landing System (ILS) that the airport wants to install.

18th April 2007

Airport present plans at Down Hatherley village hall.

Darren Lewington, airport Operations Manager, gave a two hour presentation outlining the airports plans. He confirmed that the airport hopes to concentrate on attracting larger aircraft, to the the extent that light aircraft would be squeezed out. It was also made clear that the airport would be prepared to extend opening hours to meet demand from business and corporate operators. The impression given was that the airport is prepared to encourage any air traffic that will increase their profits from landing fees and fuel sales, regardless of the effect that this would have on their local environment.

Several questions from the audience related to noise from aircraft flying circuits over Down Hatherley. Mr Lewington explained that the airport does not create the noise nuisance, the aircraft do, and that the airport is not able to enforce its own code of practice that was designed to reduce noise.

One member of the audience asked whether the airport would close if the planning applications were not permitted. He was told that the airport would not close, but the air traffic would become predominantly light aircraft.

10th April 2007

In a letter to a constituent the Stroud MP, David Drew says :

"I am, in principle, opposed to further expansions at Staverton Airport. There are several reasons for this:

* Staverton’s expansion plans are not essential to safety management. Rather, they are business-oriented propositions that seek to transform the airport into a major regional carrier. Planned runway expansions will enable the airport to accommodate large passenger aircrafts which will have detrimental effects on its surrounding environment.
* Increased air traffic will diminish the living standards of those residing near the airport.
* Sites marked for runway expansions fall within a greenbelt
* As Phillip Booth has rightly pointed out, extended runways will enable the airport to provide a greater number of short-services (i.e. flights to London). These are the most carbon intensive of all flights. "

The full letter appears online at http://resultsfromdaviddrew.blogspot.com

30th March 2007

Details of the fourth planning application made by the airport have been published on the Tewkesbury Borough Council web site. The application would allow the paved runway to be extended, a brook to be culverted, a security fence and footbridge to be constructed and the diversion of a foot path. More details on the Background page of this site.

29th March 2007

The Gloucester Echo published two letters regarding the airport's future. The first writer believes that "the airport authorities have failed to keep their promises to maintain an open approach regarding their intentions as to the airport's future". The second writer says "Surely something as important as airport expansion should be subject to open public debate".

23rd March 2007

The Gloucester Citizen has published a letter (p.11) from Cllr Philip Booth of the Stroud District Green Party. The letter comments on the airports planned increases in fuel sales, regional passenger aircraft of up to 80 seats, developing commercial traffic and the likely development of regular scheduled flights. Cllr Booth goes on to say "How any of this could be seen as a reduction in pollution is a mystery indeed".

20th March 2007

The Gloucestershire Echo has published an article (p.11) comparing the original and abridged five-year plans. The airport claims that the deletions were made at the request of the shareholder (Cheltenham Borough and Gloucester City Councils) because "They decided against commercial traffic". However, the airports consultation document, published just yesterday, still states that their plans will lead to "increased training, corporate and scheduled flying activities".

9th March 2007

The airport's 'missing' five-year plan has been returned to the TBC planning web site. The plan was originally removed from the web site on 28th Feb 2007 because it contained sensitive financial information. It is now an 'abridged' version of the original plan. We have compared the two side-by-side, and can see that nine pages of content are deleted. We are surprised that the changes are not limited to financial information. For example, the deleted or modified sections mean that the following paragraphs have been removed :

"Increase the landing distance available (LDA) on runway 27 from 997 metres to around 1160 metes, making it suitable for a wide range of popular business aircraft as well as regional passenger aircraft in the 20-80 seater range." (originally p.9)

"Visiting business aircraft could be expected to increase in number." (originally p.23)

"As well as home-based corporate aircraft, the Airport would attract more visiting corporate aircraft from Year 3." (originally p.26)

"The improved facilities would also make possible the introduction of regular, scheduled flights, servicing a range of destinations such as Dublin, Glasgow/Edinburgh, London City and the Channel islands." (originally p.10)

"The planned development of passenger carrying commercial traffic would bring about the need to expand the existing passenger terminal facilities." (originally p.27)

"Three home-based commercial training operators alone have forecast an immediate utilization, with approximately 500 training approaches a year ..."
"... Visiting commercial training operators, such as Oxford Air Training School and Bristol Flight Centre, could also be expected to fly 500 training approaches per year" (originally p.23)

This appears to be an attempt by the airport management to influence the result of their planning applications by concealing their true intentions for the airport. However, not all of the details of the planned expansion have been removed :

"With the commissioning of the ILS on runway 27, instrument training traffic could be expected to increase dramatically, almost immediately." (originally p. 23)

"The improvements to the runway declared distance could be expected to quickly attract larger business aircraft that cannot currently use or are severely restricted in their use of the airport". (originally p.23)

If anyone cannot access the abridged 5-year plan on the TBC web site, or did not keep a copy of the full version, get in touch and we can lend you ours.

6th March 2007

The airport has responded to our first flyer, their document is available here. Once again they state that light aircraft are twice as noisy as jet aircraft; having first hand experience of both passing overhead, I find this an incredible claim! They also state that the total number of aircraft movements will not increase, a claim that is contradicted by their own business plan. Bizarrely the airport give themselves credit for the recent takeover of Smiths Aerospace by General Electric, although neither company is connected with the airport. Finally the scare mongering about thousands of houses being build on the site is repeated, even though the airport have never claimed that they would have to close in the event of their plans being rejected.

3rd March 2007

The Gloucestershire Echo (but not the Citizen) has published an article about the airport expansion plans (p.17). There is a summary of our concerns and a standard response by the airport management. The airport's 'five-year plan' is still missing from the Tewkesbury Borough Council web site. The Echo has still not published any letters from reader regarding the planning applications.

1st March 2007

Today is officially the last day for the public to submit comments regarding the first of the applications (06/01669/FUL) to the planning officer at Tewkesbury Borough Council. This conflicts with the information that has been given on the TBC planning web site which has shown the last date variously as the 9th and 20th of March. We have spoken to the planning officer, Mr J. Hinett, and he has confirmed that he will accept comments that he receives after the official deadline.

28th February 2007

Surprisingly, when Churchdown Parish Council discussed the planning applications only two members of the public from the parish attended . The Council members expressed a variety of opinions. They also explained to the public how they are not part of the formal planning process, they are only able to represent the view of the public to Tewkesbury Borough Council, who actually make the decision to permit or refuse the applications.

28th February 2007

After a request from Gloucestershire Airport, Tewkesbury Borough Council removed the 'five-year plan' from the planning web site. The request was made because the document contains 'sensitive information'. We expect an amended version of the five-year plan to reappear in the next few days. In the mean time an unedited version is still available at the Parish Council Offices, Parton Road, Churchdown.

26th February 2007

Still no article in the Echo or Citizen. We have passed on details of planning applications to the news desk. It seems that a matter that attracted hundreds of people to the public meeting last year is no longer newsworthy.

 

 

 

www.case-online.org.uk