Response to Southampton Airport Master Plan Consultation.

Read the council's response in full

Dear Mr Garwood

Re: Winchester City Council’s response to Southampton Airport Draft Master Plan Consultation 2018.

I have read the draft Master Plan in detail and have consulted with a range of Officers at the City Council / Winchester residents and would like to make the following comments on behalf of Winchester City Council.

It is noted that the Masterplan details the proposed extension of the airport from 2018-2037. The main changes include an extension to the terminal building, increase in car park provision, a new passenger walkway and an extension to the runway of 170m.

The proposals are to allow additional larger aircraft/ aircraft with a greater weight (passengers/fuel) to take off from Southampton and travel to a wider variety of European destinations.

This will allow a forecasted increase in the number of passengers, from 2 million in 2017, to 5 million in 2037 and an additional number of aircraft movements from 39,300 in 2017 to 57,800 by 2037.

In principle, Winchester City Council broadly welcomes the plan and proposals.

From an economic development perspective, the close proximity of the Winchester District to Southampton Airport means there is potential for the District to benefit from economic growth, employment and leisure opportunities.

Winchester City centre is located less than 10 miles from the airport and benefits from excellent rail and road connectivity. Southern parishes of the District are even closer. Local businesses operating within these areas will benefit from air transport providing connectivity to a wider range of European markets and a significantly larger customer base. Winchester District residents are also ideally placed to benefit from the proposed creation of 500 additional jobs and the convenience of making holiday flights to a wider variety of destinations from such a close airport.

The plans also support the growth of international and domestic tourism in the District. The airport currently reduces journey times between Winchester and the major conurbations of Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh making it an ideal weekend break for time-poor affluent urban dwellers. The expansion plans with the possibility of flights from Barcelona, Milan, Rome, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Madrid, Berlin, Copenhagen, Venice and Prague could open up new tourism markets.  We already know from our current international visitor profile that Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands are the highest six and have a propensity to visit Winchester.

However, it is also recognised that accompanying any development of this scale, there can be significant detrimental effects on the local residents of Winchester and wider environment, should the impacts not be properly controlled or mitigated.

It is clear that there will be an increase in traffic movements to and from the airport associated with the planned increase in passenger numbers (2-5 million per annum even allowing for a modal switch from private to public transport) and that this level of growth is likely to impact on the local area and wider motorway network. With the increase in number of planes, and traffic, there will likely to be an increase in Nitrogen Dioxide emissions and fine particulates (PM10s & PM2.5s).  It is accepted that both the traffic and air quality implications of this proposed development are likely to have a more direct impact on Eastleigh residents and those using the M27 corridor than people living within Winchester District. No doubt, Hampshire County Council, (transport and highway authority), and Eastleigh Borough Council, will wish to be fully satisfied that the proposals are acceptable in terms of the development’s off-site impacts.  However, in general terms, if the scale of growth intended is to proceed, it would be with the expectation that the necessary infrastructure improvements will be put in place to accommodate the airport’s expansion and that measures are also implemented to encourage passengers to access the site by means other than private motor vehicles.

Whilst there is some mention in the document about ‘Climate Change,’ the City Council would welcome more detail about any projects that the airport is undertaking to minimise their carbon footprint, including any projects that they have implemented towards the ‘Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme’. The Council would also be interested in learning further detail about any projects that are promoting sustainable transport for passengers going to and from the airport eg. taxis, customer incentives.

In respect of noise, the proposals show no change to some aspects of the ‘Flying Controls Agreement’ that was set up in 1993 to safeguard the community. For example, there will be no scheduled night flights, (with very limited exceptions). However the proposals are very general in nature and do not sufficiently detail how the proposed changes will impact on Winchester residents from a noise perspective. They do not state what additional control measures will be put into place to mitigate the noise impacts of a large increase in aircraft movements.

It may be that Southampton Airport intend to provide more detailed information about this at the planning application stage and we would welcome this and would want to provide comments. It is our expectation that this should include analysis of the types of planes proposed and their noise emissions, including where possible, modelling of noise levels across the Winchester wards that may be affected e.g. conurbations of Shawford, Colden Common, Otterbourne, Brambridge, Winchester etc. In addition, this is an opportunity to review and revise the preferred noise routings that are currently used to examine whether there are better routes that avoid residential conurbations and / or whether aircraft can achieve a greater altitude more quickly to minimise the noise impact.

In conclusion, whilst the proposed development is welcomed from an economic perspective, Winchester City Council would like to see additional details about the resulting noise impacts from the development and proposed noise mitigation in order to be satisfied that Winchester residents are not adversely affected.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Cllr Jan Warwick

 

Portfolio Holder for the Environment

Cabinet Member

Winchester City Council