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Furious residents hit out at airport

Birmngham Airport has been blamed for causing villagers to be at loggerheads over proposals to extend its flight path

Birmingham Airport
Birmingham Airport

Birmngham Airport has been blamed for causing villagers to be at loggerheads over proposals to extend its flight path.

As reported last week, the airport has added an extra option - option six - to its plans, which would see planes flying closer to Barston and Temple Balsall.

But Barston villagers are pushing for option five, which would see the planes passing over Balsall Common - an option not backed by Balsall Common residents.

Gerard ORegan, from Balsall, said it is the airport who is to blame for the controversy flaring up between the two rural communities.

"Whilst I have every sympathy for their opposition to option six, they (Barston and Temple Balsall) are misguided in blaming Balsall Common residents, this should be firmly directed at Birmingham Airport," he said.

"Option six is very divisive for the two neighbouring communities. In solving a problem for Balsall Common residents the airport have, deliberately in my opinion, pushed the problem onto Barston residents.

"Barston residents need to realise that the airport has created the problem not Balsall Common residents."

Councillor Tony Dicicco (Con, Meriden) said he wanted to see the two villages work together to grind out a deal with the airport.

Meanwhile Meriden MP Caroline Spelman has also hit out at the airport after she said bosses have ignored her requests to halt the consultation process.

"I feel I was misled by the airport telling me that the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) would not let aircraft turn as they do now to protect communities from noise.

"The CAA made it clear to me that they have no objection to the so-called Hampton Turn. Then the airport published an overly technical consultation document which has confused and irritated my constituents," Mrs Spelman said.

An Airport Spokesperson, said: "The Airport Company met with Mrs Spelman again this week. The Airport has noted the concerns that were raised. The information given to Mrs Spelman by the Civil Aviation Authority appears to contradict the requirements that the Authority has placed upon us.

"We are absolutely committed to adhering to the laid-down procedure, and if CAA wishes to vary that procedure, of course we will work together to achieve the optimum outcome.

"We are seeking immediate clarification and a public statement from the CAA, so that the matter can be resolved. We will also be inviting the CAA to meet with Mrs Spelman on this matter, once it has clarified its position. Caroline is a great champion for her constituents, and it is only right that she calls organisations to account where there appears to be conflicting information."

 

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