COUNCILLORS in Bickenhill have said that a runway extension will benefit the local economy - but the problems it will cause have to be mitigated.
Councillors Jim Ryan and Alan Martin, who represent the ward, are both members of the planning sub committee. On Monday evening, the group said they were minded to approve Birmingham Airport’s plans, but deferred the final decision until the New Year.
Coun Ryan, who has represented the area for 18 years, said: “The extension of Birmingham runway was mentioned 40 years ago by Birmingham City Council, that’s how long people have been talking about the issue.
“The airport is there, it’s not going to go away - it’s there providing a service for local people and providing jobs for the area. And those who say “strike a better deal”, that’s what we’re doing and that’s what we have been doing for 30 years.
“It’s critical that we get the airport to agree a deal that will protect the local people, otherwise we are doing them a disservice.”
Coun Martin said: “I have had the benefit of living near to the airport for most of my life, during that time I have taken an interest in the airport and the problems it can cause.
“The whole problem is one of balance - weighing the economic benefits against the environmental problems.”
Bickenhill’s third councillor, Bob Sleigh, was also at the meeting and gave his thoughts on the issue.
“I welcome the news that this will benefit the area’s economy and bring jobs, but I share the concerns of the director of public health about what sort of problems it will bring.”