My fears for Filton's future

Published on: 29 Jun 2015

By Darryl Collins, chair of Filton Town Council

When the original South Glos Council/BAe Filton Airfield proposals were bullied through, Filton residents were promised around 50 hectares of high end employment land as an Aerospace Park delivering around 9,000 jobs, a home for Concorde that included an Aero Heritage Museum and that the Air Ambulance would always have a home on the Filton Airfield?

Today after 12 years Concorde still sits out in all weather and not so much as a spade has hit the ground toward the construction of the promised museum. This proposed development agreed by South Glos Council is scheduled to deliver only 24 hectares of the promised 50 hectares of high end Aerospace and Emerging Technologies employment land. And the Helicopter Port is to be moved to Almondsbury.

A gallant battle to ‘Save Filton Airfield’ was lost mostly because South Glos Council had already agreed to the closure and development of the airfield long before we residents were given any clue. To be fair, BAe clearly stated there was no future for the Airfield if residents rejected a Regional Airport back in 1995.

On paper this final BAe proposal, unfortunately including the loss of a large number of ‘affordable homes’ agreed by South Glos, promises to deliver a host of infrastructure ... Schools, Sports Hall and Playing Fields, GP Centre, Bowling Greens and a Pavilion, Skate Park, Community Centre and Park Land and so much more. I can see many of these shiny new facilities having a negative effect on a number of the services provided by Filton Town Council who are struggling to provide the many services and amenities Filton residents need and deserve.

I believe we need to be very vigilant in ensuring the promised infrastructure is delivered. Against our wishes the residents of Filton and the surrounding areas have invested their Airfield and arguably the future of our proud Aerospace Heritage in this development and it’s right and proper we should hold out for the very best of returns.

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