Runway extension public inquiry – urgent action needed

The public inquiry on George Best Belfast City Airport’s proposed runway extension is to get underway later this year. If you submitted a formal objection to the airport’s planning application for the runway extension, you should have received a letter from the Planning Appeals Commission asking you whether and how you wish to be represented at the inquiry.

Belfast City Airport Watch is happy to save you time and trouble by representing you at the inquiry. We’ll be using our expertise to make sure we make the best possible case on behalf of local residents opposed to the runway extension. If you’d like us to represent you, here’s what to do:

  • Fill in and return the form sent to you by the Planning Appeals Commission, putting Belfast City Airport Watch as the ‘agent’ representing you. For the agent’s address, put c/o 60-64 May Street, Belfast, BT1 4NP. For the E-mail, put info@belfastcityairportwatch.co.uk. Leave a blank for the telephone number and indicate ‘yes’ to ‘Will this person be representing you at the Inquiry?’. You should also fill out all your own name and address details at the top of the form.
  • Indicate ‘yes’ to ‘Will you be attending the preliminary meeting on 6th June 2011?’ If you’re happy for us to represent us, this means we will attend on your behalf but you still need to put ‘yes’ to this question.
  • Under ‘Further participation in the Inquiry’, place a tick next to ‘I/my agent will present further written evidence and will take part in the Inquiry’ – again, if you’re happy for us to represent you, this means that we will present further evidence on your behalf and that of all the residents we represent.
  • At the bottom of the form, please add this comment ‘’I reserve my position on procedural arguments pending the outcome of the ongoing judicial review’. It is important to add these words because Belfast City Airport Watch has been given leave to seek a judicial review of the Environment Minister’s recent decision to remove the airport’s seats for sale (passenger) limit and we believe this case could have a bearing on the public inquiry.
  • Return the form to the Planning Appeals Commission (address below) to arrive no later than Wednesday, 4th May. Due to public holidays, we strongly advise that you complete and post your form before Easter, as there are a number of public holidays between now and the 4th May.
  • Please E-mail us at info@belfastcityairportwatch.co.uk to let us know that you want Belfast City Airport Watch to represent you at the Inquiry.

If you (or your community group or residents’ association) did not make a formal objection to the airport’s planning application initially, we would urge you to write to the Planning Appeals Commission before 4th May stating that you would like the opportunity to express your view about George Best Belfast City Airport’s runway extension application Ref no Z/2008/2306/F. State that you object to the application and that you would like Belfast City Airport Watch to represent you at the inquiry (if you would like us to represent you). You should also state that you would like this opportunity, despite not objecting originally, because aircraft noise has got much worse since the Department of the Environment’s original consultation on the runway extension application in December 2008. Explain briefly why you object to the runway extension proposal and how aircraft noise affects you at the moment. Make sure you include your name, address, E-mail address (if any) and telephone number.

We recommend that all letters to the Planning Appeals Commission are sent by recorded delivery to ensure they do not go astray. If you do not receive any acknowledgement of your letter from the PAC, do phone them to check what’s happened to your letter/form. Contact details are below:

Planning Appeals Commission
Park House
87-91 Great Victoria Street
Belfast
BT2 7AG

Tel: 028 9024 4710
E-mail: info@pacni.gov.uk

We would encourage everyone, whether or not we’re representing you, to attend the Inquiry’s hearings if you are available. No date has yet been set for those, but we will keep you posted.

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