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Glasgow Airport expansion opposed by locals

18.08.05

Families who live near a proposed new cargo and maintenance zone for Glasgow airport on farm land behind their homes are strongly opposed to the plans. They are said to be 'horrified' at the possibility of huge aircraft repair and storage units 'on their doorsteps' and have asked Glasgow airport owner, BAA, to hold a public meeting so that they can find out more about the plans. BAA has said that it plans a series of public meetings on the plans.

The proposals for a new cargo and maintenance zone, which form part of Glasgow Airport's masterplan for the next 25 years, were revealed last month. This masterplan refers to the government White Paper relating to the expansion of Glasgow airport.

The White Paper is says that, whilst there is no immediate need for additional maintenance facilities at the airport until at least 2030, BAA should make provision in future plans to create a 'centre of excellence' for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul. To do this, the masterplan includes a proposal that the airport should buy 17.5 hectares of land at Netherton Farm.

But BAA says, before this would happen, it will carry out a detailed cargo and maintenance, repair and overhaul study will be undertaken in conjunction with Scottish Enterprise Renfrewshire. This study will seek to pinpoint opportunities for the airport to develop its cargo business. And even if the proposal goes ahead, any development is not expected until 2015 at the earliest.

But local residents are concerned that the masterplan, if approved, will give the cargo and maintenance zone some kind of approval, and that the plan will gain momentum. One local resident, whose house backs on to the farm land earmarked for the cargo and maintenance zone, said: 'At the moment that area is lovely green space and it's great to sit outside and watch the planes coming and going from the airport. We don't want to see it turned into an industrial zone and we certainly don't want all the noise and upheaval that could come with it.'

Responding to the residents concerns, BAA admitted the expansion work at Glasgow will mean disruption for some local residents, but Planning Manager, Michael Dowds, said: 'The Master Plan makes it clear that airport development up to 2015 can be accommodated on land currently owned by BAA.'

'In later years an additional 52 hectares of land to the east of Abbotsinch Road will be required for new cargo and maintenance facilities, as well as general airfield development. This land has already been zoned for future airport operational use in the emerging Renfrewshire Local Plan.'

'We do not currently envisage developing this land before 2015. Any major development in this area is some time away. Also, the plans we have outlined are not set in stone. They be updated every 5 years to take into account changes in the industry, as well as the views of local residents.'

'We recognise that some people may have concerns about the future expansion of the airport and we are happy to discuss these issues with local people. As part of the current consultation process, we will be holding drop-in sessions at the airport during September where members of the public can find out more about our plans. We will also be holding drop-in sessions in Renfrew, Paisley and Johnstone.'

The consultation process, launched by BAA to give local people and interested parties the chance to comment on the plans, also includes public meetings in a number of locations - including Paisley, Renfrew and Johnstone - before the feedback period ends on 28.10.2005. BAA added that the plans will create thousands of new jobs and generate millions of pounds for the Renfrewshire economy.

Copies of the plans are available to download from the internet at www.glasgowairport.com/masterplan or by writing to Airport Masterplan Consultation, BAA Glasgow, St Andrew's Drive, Glasgow Airport, Paisley, PA3 2SW.

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