Campaign group calls for “honest” assessment of Stansted Airport expansion proposals

PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 June 2017

Stansted Airport. Picture: MAG

Stansted Airport. Picture: MAG

Archant

A campaign group against the expansion of Stansted Airport has hit out at the airport’s claim that the environment won’t be affected – and has called for an “honest” assessment into the proposals.

Airport bosses gave formal notice that a planning application will be submitted later this year seeking permission to grow its passenger numbers from 35million per year to 45m.

But the Stop Stansted Expansion group (SSE) accused the airport of “insulting the intelligence” of Uttlesford District Council by claiming there would be no significant negative effects of the expansion.

SSE chairman Peter Sanders said: “It’s an insult to the intelligence of Uttlesford District Council and the entire local community, for Stansted Airport to claim that an extra 20 million passengers per annum and an extra 104,000 annual flights will have no significant adverse environmental effects.

“About half of all Stansted’s passengers travel to and from the airport by car and this proposal would give rise to an 80% increase in airport-related road traffic.

“That would have serious implications in terms of traffic congestion on our local roads, especially when considered alongside the scale of local housing development currently underway and planned.”

The group also pointed to the increase in flight numbers – an estimated 2,000 more per week – as having an affect on communities close to the airport and beneath its flight path.

In 2008 Stansted was granted permission to increase from 25m passengers to 35m annually, and last year featured 24m customers.

It is not expected to start catering for 35m people annually until at least 2024.

Mr Sanders added: “We may not be able to prevent the airport from submitting a planning application but we must at least try to ensure that there is a comprehensive, honest and thorough assessment of all the environmental impacts.

“That will be our main focus in the months ahead. We must do our best to ensure that Uttlesford District Council is not rolled over by the glossy presentations and smooth words from the experts Stansted Airport is paying to dance to its planning application tune.”

Do you think Stansted should be allowed to expand? Email your thoughts here.

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