MP calls public meeting to discuss helicopter base planning application

Jack Lopresti.

Jack Lopresti, MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, has called a public meeting to discuss a planning application for a new operations base for the Great Western Air Ambulance and the police helicopter which has been submitted for a green belt site in Almondsbury, just across the M5 motorway from the RAC building in north Bradley Stoke.

The public meeting will be held on Friday 19th June, starting at 7pm, at the BAWA Club, 589 Southmead Road, Filton BS34 7RG.

The suggested site is immediately to the west of the M4/M5 interchange and the proposal is for it to be used to construct a hangar, take-off and landing areas for the helicopters, a weather station, car parking and a new access road.

Representatives from the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, BAE Systems (who own Filton Airfield, the existing base of the air ambulance and police helicopters) and South Gloucestershire Council will speak and answer questions at the meeting, which will be chaired by Mr Lopresti.

Mr Lopresti said:

“I have called this meeting to bring together residents of Almondsbury, BAe Systems, the Great Western Air Ambulance, the National Police Air Service and local councillors, so that all aspects of this proposal can be discussed.”

“I know how worried some of the residents of Almondsbury are about having a helicopter pad based so close to their homes. This meeting will provide a forum for everyone’s views to be aired before councillors make a final decision on the proposals.”

South Gloucestershire Council’s Development Control (West) Sites Inspection Sub-Committee will inspect the proposed site on Monday (22nd June) at approximately 9.45am. Members of the public are entitled to attend the site meeting and have their say on the application. The rendezvous for the public will be Almondsbury UWE Football Club, Gloucester Road, Almondsbury. Parking is available at Almondsbury Sports and Social Club.

Related link: Agenda and report for the site inspection meeting

More information: New helicopter base near the M4/M5 Almondsbury Interchange (The Journal)

Share this page:


  1. There is another airfield that the helicopters were told of, but the NPAS did not want it as they said it would interfere with their operations as it was to far out and sometimes the weather is not good enough, the airfeld is on the Avon and Somerset/Wiltshire border at Colerne which is a military airfield, it has been said that the helicopters would be welcome to use the airfield but all NPAS want to do is stay in the Filton/Bradley stoke area.

  2. I can’t help but thinking that a Helipad at Filton Airfield is a fitting legacy for MP Jack Lopresti.

    In cahoots with the developers he didn’t lift a finger to save Europe’s longest airfield from closure (a true national asset now lost to the house builders / estate agents? eh what did you do before you were an MP Jack? oh that’s right private developments, estate agency, mortgages etc… I guess skilled engineers like me had no chance against the march of the loafer-shod estate agent brigade).

    So it’s a fitting legacy that our once great airfield should be replaced by a Lopresti Helipad. Jack’s flagpole will be flapping proudly in the breeze (did the taxpayer pay for that like the MP’s duck house?) as a signal when Bravo Alpha Chopper comes in to land!

    By the time Jack retires as an MP in 2020 he’ll have a fully operational helipad across the road from his house! I’m sure after trousering a million quid from the taxpayer over ten years he’ll find that a useful and affordable means of transport to hop off to his next jolly wheeze.

    I’m sure the local Tories are already jockeying for position over who is going to be the next lucky star to represent us in parliament, meanwhile Jack and the developers are laughing all the way to retirement.

    And it’s always wheels within wheels isn’t it with this crew – Did you know that the Air Ambulance’s pretty PR and fundraising girl has been known to go out ‘delivering leaflets’ with our Jack and the Tories??? You see decisions are made without us knowing!

  3. Have they started selecting a candidate for the next General Election already? It’s 5 years until 2020! We’ve only just had one. I wish Jack well with his retirement though, personally I’ve always found him to be very pleasant. I would like to see Matthew Riddle take over as our MP next time. He’s been a great Councillor in Severn Vale, has opposed wind farms, frozen the council tax, opposed Bristol expansion and he’s a very capable Leader of the Council. As Leader of the Council surely he has the right contacts, skills and experience to become an excellent MP.

  4. I think Matthew Riddle would do a fine job as the next MP for Bradley Stoke and I sincerely hope he is selected. He is a good local man of many years standing in public service. He has worked tirelessly for the people of South Gloucestershire and always puts SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE first, rather than party or other interests. He can always be relied on to do what is in the best interests for South Gloucestershire Council and it’s local residents. I think being a local born and bred man has helped him in this, better than being a ‘blow in’ from Brislington. Matthew has my firm support and I would like to see him as the next MP when Jack retires in 2020.

  5. We seem to have lost the whole point of this post!

    This is about whether the local emergency helicopters should fly over a few houses at its proposed new base, disturbing a few Almondsbury residents or should remain where it is and have to fly over some of the new 5,700 new homes in CPNN, that are also in Almondsbury.

    Almondsbury Parish Council seem happy to allow it to fly over the CPNN, they should be supporting and backing ALL the residents of Almondsbury not just the ones in Almondsbury ward.

  6. Why do people blame this MP it didn’t matter what him or 1000s of other people wanted or did the land was BAE and they wanted to sale it which they had every right to
    Yes Chris this is about where this new place will be not attacking this man

  7. We have had years of the Helicopter flying over our homes so why can’t a few homes have their turn for it to fly over them I think this is a brilliant place for its new home

  8. Like him or not it seems Lopresti is getting off his arse and doing something this term, not before time but better late than never.

    I suspect Alorramoney Parish Council welcome this distraction away from the bad publicity of kicking Hallen AFC and the kids etc etc out of the football ground, quietly hoping to grind that one out and hoping they will all go away.

  9. After Fridays public meeting at the BAWA club and the Monday site visit it has been agreed that there will be helicopter flight demonstrations. These will take place Thursday 25th and Friday 26th June between 6.30pm and 8.30pm and also Saturday 27th at 12 noon.

  10. we have had these helicopters flying over our houses for years . I don’t see what difference it makes if the base is the other side of the M5 or stays where it is . It’s an essential service and think it should stay in this area .

  11. On the subject of Mr Lopresti I would like to know if he is planning to accept his 10% salary hike? I note his fellow Conservative MPs – such as Luke in Yate and Charlotte in Bristol – have vowed to give the money to local community groups or charity. Is Lopresti going to do the same or will he be trousering his payrise? MPs already earn more than double the average household income for Bradley Stoke, that’s before the 10%. I work locally at Indesit and haven’t had a pay rise for 3 years – the last increase I got was 1.2%.

  12. There have now been mass resignations at Almondsbury Parish Council, including their leader Cliff Hilliker. Anyone know if it was related to this or the Hallen FC issue? Anyone know what happened?? Interesting!

  13. The Gazette reports today that protesters from Almondsbury, Bradley Stoke and Hortham have requested a judicial review to quash the council’s decision to grant planning permission for the proposed new helicopter base.

    “… the council have chosen not to contest the grounds for review that their screening opinion was unlawful and that they had failed to impose a noise monitoring condition.”

    Full article:

Comments are closed.