Time to accept airfield's closure
THERE is no doubt that – at some point in its aviation future – Bristol will regret the closure of Filton airfield. Forthcoming generations will never again have the opportunity to create an airport of this size so close to the city.
And they will almost certainly look back at the decision with amazement and disappointment.
This newspaper has been making exactly that point for some time. And many local residents agree.
But BAE Systems has declared the site as no longer economically viable. It has been sold. It has been earmarked for housing and employment use in South Gloucestershire's development plan.
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In short, the fight against the airfield's closure is just about a lost cause. And now, in to the arena of this lost cause, steps Tim Shorland.
Mr Shorland wants to use a title he bought (over land which includes the airfield) to exercise the right to search for mines and minerals on "his" land and, if possible, extract gas from it by fracking.
All of which would delay the airfield's housing development.
It's a plan with more "ifs" in it than Kipling's famous poem.
Mr Shorland's motives are to be commended. He is fiercely opposed to the closure of the airfield. But he will, at best, just delay the inevitable.
It may be a flawed decision. But Filton airfield is going to be closed and developed in to housing.
It is time to accept that fact – unless someone can come up with a better plan than Mr Shorland's.