The Save Filton Airfield campaign was born when a large number of people
decided that to close Filton Airfield in order to build housing was short
sighted. People from all walks of life and political persuasion, including
local residents, councillors, pilots and engineers came together in order
to try and keep Filton Airfield flying.
We believe that South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) views the closure of
Filton Airfield as a simple solution to their future house building
requirements, at the expense of what is an extremely valuable asset to the
local community and economy.
An analysis of the beneficiaries of such a sale explains our viewpoint.
- BAE would post an income in the order of a few hundred
million pounds, as a one off
for the sale of the airfield land.
- SGC would meet some of their house building
target, plus they would net an annual income of a few
million pounds per
annum from Council Tax proceeds.
- House developers and their agents would benefit
from the construction and sale of housing, with a one off
a billion pounds.
None of these gains would benefit existing residents and
employees of the area.
- Under the current plan, the worst case risk is the
eventual loss of all the
local Aerospace industries - currently contributing
pounds per annum to the local GDP. (The South West
RDA stated that Airbus
alone spends £750 million per year in the South West
supply chains). The
fear is that Filton will be reduced to nothing more than
an office block with
major manufacturing work moving to other Airbus sites such as Toulouse, Hamburg and
Wales - all of which have working runways.
- The plan jeopardises Government funding for the proposed Bristol University Technical College next to Abbeywood Community School. This joint venture between University of West of England (UWE) and the City of Bristol College, with financial and technical support being offered by Airbus and Rolls-Royce, is aimed at producing high-calibre engineers through academic and apprenticeship routes, largely aimed at the aerospace industries based around the airfield. The funding decision has been deferred until the fate of the airfield is decided. The young people of Bristol stand to lose their future livelihoods.
- The loss of what should be an important asset to
the area, and along with it
a whole range of current and potential users.
- The cost of providing infrastructure to support the new
homes, much of which
will have to be borne by Bristol City Council (BCC).
- The loss of the ability to base working aircraft at any
future museum, making
any such museum less attractive to potential visitors.
- The Air Ambulance, run entirely from donations, would be forced to move, along with the Avon & Somerset Police helicopter.
- Increased traffic congestion, and social issues.
All of these losses would affect existing residents and
employees of the area.
We consider that it is a gross oversight to risk huge potential losses
small short term, one-off gains that do not benefit the
residents, employees or economy
of north Bristol and the South West.
To see our vision of the future, see "A
Please also see the list of Questions