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Press Release: 12th November 2009

CPRE lobbying on carbon increase helps fight off more flights

Countryside campaigners in CPRE Hampshire and Surrey are celebrating today after Councillors on the Development Control Committee at Rushmoor Borough Council Chamber last night overturned the recommendation of their planning officers to allow a massive expansion in Business Aviation movements at Farnborough Airport. The TAG application to increase business flights at Farnborough from 28,000 to 50,000 per annum was refused.

Working with colleagues in The Aircraft Environment Federation and Farnborough Airport Residents Association, both CPRE Hampshire and CPRE Surrey had contributed letters of objection, covering a wide range of environmental considerations and both were represented at the meeting.

Hugh Sheppard, Chairman of CPRE North East Hampshire, said:

"This is an amazing achievement. Our group has lobbied over the huge carbon footprint that would result from an increase from 28,000 to 50,000 movements per annum, basing its case on the equivalent of some 360,000 tonnes of additional greenhouse gases that would be generated - using the applicant's own corrected figures. Corrected because CPRE pointed out that consultants had originally miscalculated the anticipated total emissions from the airport's ground and aircraft operations by 1 million tonnes of CO2. As the UK's annual average emissions per person are about 12 tonnes, approval would have resulted in the same increase as for a new town of 30,000 people."

Ten public speakers against the proposal came from a wide radius of Hampshire and Surrey towns and villages around the airport. Hugh continued:

"As they carefully - and sometimes passionately - set out their case for having suffered enough from noise and their lack of conviction about safety assurances, Councillors clearly recognised the local depth of concern. Moreover, when it was the turn of the applicant's representatives to make their case, one of the four speakers put his point of view so badly that a section of the audience broke into a slow hand-clap."

With a vote of 7 to 1 against, the proposal has now been handed back to the officers to reflect the views of the public and their elected representatives in setting out the council's grounds for refusal. CPRE believes this was the only fair outcome, given that of the 3,000 public comments received by Rushmoor planners, some 99% were objections.


Notes to editors

CPRE Hampshire strives to promote the beauty, tranquility and diversity of the countryside of Hampshire by the sustainable use of land and other resources in town and country, and encouraging the biodiversity and well-being of rural communities.

For all media enquiries, please contact:
Keren Burney, media & communications officer, CPRE Hampshire
Tel: 01730 894123   Mobile: 07876 780065

For information on CPRE, please contact:
Anthony McEwen, Director, CPRE Hampshire
Tel: 01962 779185   Mobile: 07717 296025

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