Fringe Box



Waverley Council Formally Objects to Farnborough Airport Expansion Plan

Published on: 7 Feb, 2024
Updated on: 7 Feb, 2024

Cllr Paul Follows, Lib Dem leader of Waverley Borough Council joined the recent protest against expansion plans.

By Chris Caulfield

local democracy reporter

Plans to increase capacity at Farnborough Airport by 40 per cent have been formally objected to by Waverley Borough Council.

The airport is seeking planning permission to increase the number of planes taking off or landing from 50,000 to 70,000 per year.

It also wants to be allowed to have bigger aircraft using the airport and change flight patterns.

The council has written to the airport’s planning authority to express what it says are deep concerns over the impact that added air traffic will have on climate change, the natural environment, protected wildlife, residents and local businesses.

Map showing Farnborough Airport Flight Paths. Red are arrival routes and blue departure.

Primarily used by business and corporate passengers, Farnborough Airport argues that its environmental footprint is a “fraction” of traditional commercial airports. The airport also claims it is one of the region’s biggest employers.

See also: Greta Thunberg Condemns ‘Rich Elite’ as She Joins Protest Against Airport Expansion

Cllr Steve Williams

Waverley Borough lead councillor for Environment and Sustainability, Steve Williams (Green, Godalming Binscombe & Charterhouse), said: “Private jets are the most damaging form of air travel because they carry so few passengers.

“Waverley Borough Council has declared a climate emergency, and we are firmly committed to reducing the emissions that contribute to climate change.

“Farnborough Airport is located just five miles north of the Waverley border and these latest proposals are totally incompatible with what we’re trying to achieve.

“Our residents, businesses and wildlife would all be directly affected by an increase in light, air, and noise pollution because the airport’s flight path travels directly over the western part of our borough.

“We have three special protection areas specifically to safeguard rare bird species like the woodlark, nightjar, and Dartford warbler. It would be a travesty if these special creatures were driven from their habitat here by increased numbers of wealthy people jetting in.”

Waverley Borough Council are calling on Rushmoor Borough Council, the planning authority, to reject the application.

The planning application was due to be heard by Rushmoor Borough Council in March 2024 but has been pushed back “due to the need for additional information and the statutory consultation periods”.

Instead, and in part due to “considerable public interest” in the outcome, the council has pushed the expected date until after the May elections.

A Farnborough Airport spokesperson said it was an important gateway to connect travellers for business aviation connectivity with the majority of flights being operated for business and corporate travel purposes

They said: “The airport’s environmental footprint is a fraction that of a traditional commercial airport, yet it serves as one of the largest employment sites in the region.

“As part of the planning application process, Farnborough Airport was required to assess the environmental impact through the formal mechanism of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

“This EIA is extensive but in summary it concludes that for the majority of potential effects, the application has little to no significant environmental impact.

“We recognise the importance of continually improving our environmental performance and we are proud to be only one of a small number of UK airports to have achieved Level 4+ under the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.”

Share This Post

Responses to Waverley Council Formally Objects to Farnborough Airport Expansion Plan

  1. Roger Kendall Reply

    February 7, 2024 at 12:44 pm

    Good for Waverley Council! As for the rubbish about the airport improving their environmental performance, what a load of misinformation. 40 per cent of private jet flights don’t have a single passenger. Any minor savings in a year’s operation of the airport’s carbon footprint is lost by just one jet taking off.

    Are people aware that Macquarie Infrastructure, the owner of Farnborough Airport is also a major shareholder in Southern Water, one of the polluters of our seas with its constant release of sewage into our seas and rivers polluting both our air and water.

    In some areas of life, reducing the world’s carbon footprint is difficult but private jet use is such a greedy user of fuel and such an extreme producer of environmental damage per passenger mile that its use must be curtailed. Whatever few jobs might be gained in association with this application, more will be lost in the damage to the well-being, house values and other businesses in the area.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *