Park Authority seeks review of Bournemouth Airport decision

Published Friday 14 December 2007

The New Forest National Park Authority has sought leave to apply for a judicial review of Christchurch Borough Council’s decision to approve the expansion of Bournemouth Airport.

The Authority recognises the important role of regional airports but is not convinced that proper account has been taken of the New Forest’s protected status as a National Park, particularly in terms of mitigation for the impact of the airport plans.  All public authorities are required by Section 62 of the Environment Act 1995 to have regard to national park purposes in reaching their decisions.  In a case such as an airport expansion on the boundary of a national park, the Authority would expect the decision to include a full and clear impact assessment on the National Park itself.

Clive Chatters, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The Authority feels this is both a significant individual case and an important point of principle.

‘Government designated the New Forest as a National Park and one of its particular characteristics is vulnerability to the impact of development within and beyond its boundaries.  We expect all authorities to respect the purposes of that designation.’

It is unlikely that a decision will be made as to whether leave should be granted until the New Year. If the application for leave is successful, a court date for the hearing of the claim may be six months to a year after that.

In the meantime, the National Park Authority hopes that constructive dialogue on the scope for mitigation can be maintained with both Christchurch Borough Council and the airport operators.

ends

Media Contact:
Karen Evans, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650
Email: karen.evans@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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