Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire Airport runway expansion work starts

A bulldozer complete the demolition work
Image caption The work is expected to be completed by 2012

A building at Gloucestershire Airport has been demolished so work can start on an expansion of its runway.

Opponents to the project claimed it would attract more commercial planes, more noise and increase pollution.

But airport bosses say the work will make it safer for planes to land and secure jobs at the site.

The demolished three-storey Blenheim House was used by BJ Boarding Kennels, which has relocated to new premises nearby.

The £4m scheme, which will also include a new entrance road and a system to allow aircraft to land in bad weather, is due to be completed next year.

Before plans to expand the runway were approved, residents living under the flight path expressed concern about the idea, saying it would attract more commercial planes, more noise and increase pollution.

Image caption The three-storey Blenheim House was demolished on Sunday morning

Head of operations at Gloucestershire Airport, Darren Lewington, said: "This work is the culmination of over seven years preparation.

"The lengthy and, sometimes controversial planning and political processes to get us to this point have finally translated into practical action.

"The demolition of Blenheim House is a very significant point in the project.

"Our runway environment becomes safer immediately and our corporate aircraft will benefit from being able to carry better payloads."

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