Concerns raised over airport masterplan

Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.
Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

Ponteland Town Council has described its comments to a consultation about the future vision for a nearby airport as ‘constructive criticism’.

Newcastle International Airport’s Masterplan 2035 draft plan sets out its goals so it can ‘compete in the global economy whilst delivering significant economic benefits to the North East’.

The plan is based upon a high forecast growth scenario of up to 9.4million passengers by 2035. It explains the ways that growth can be ‘achieved in a way that minimises the impact on the environment and surrounding communities’.

It also includes details of potential enhancements to the main access roundabout, a second access for the long-term car park, additional on-site parking facilities and a link road from Great Park to the A696.

In its response, Ponteland Town Council states that members appreciate having ‘a modern and well-run international airport on our doorstep’ and the comments are not being openly critical of the airport or its management – they ask airport chiefs to ‘treat our remarks as constructive criticism’.

However, concerns have been raised and they include the following.

‘You do point out that the growth in passenger numbers are simply possible projections, but if these turn out to be anywhere near correct then the impact upon Ponteland and the surrounding area is a great concern.

‘We struggle to see how the area could in any way cope with an almost doubling of airport operations and activities.

‘We already have many instances of irresponsible parking related to the airport, particularly at Prestwick, our cemetery, Prestwick Road Ends and the residential streets at the eastern edge of Ponteland, and this would only get much worse.

‘A suggestion for a park and ride scheme away from this busy and often congested area could help to handle the increased need for parking.

‘The masterplan seems to imply a greater number of night time flights/traffic movements and this is a matter of serious concern as our understanding is that increases in night time traffic can sometimes be beyond the control of the airport.’