Campaign group ‘pleased’ by decision to delay Stansted Airport planning application

PUBLISHED: 09:12 22 June 2018

The entrance to Stansted Airport

The entrance to Stansted Airport

Archant

The decision on Stansted Airport’s planning application to increase passenger numbers has been delayed by Uttlesford District Council as the authority seeks extra information and clarification.

Manchester Airports Group submitted its application on February 22 and a public consultation closed on April 30. It was scheduled to go to the planning committee for determination on July 18 but this is no longer the case.

The council has been examining the robustness of the evidence supplied within the application, particularly in relation to surface access, noise and air quality. Ongoing discussions are taking place with relevant stakeholders including Highways England, Essex and Hertfordshire county councils, Natural England and consultants, and further work is being undertaken.

This is expected to lead to additional information being submitted by the applicant to ensure that the planning committee is provided with all the information it needs to make an informed decision on the application.

Until this information is provided, and consulted upon, the council has said it is unable to propose a new date for determination.

Brian Ross, deputy chairman of Stop Stansted Expansion, which opposes the plans, said: “We’ve said all along that this planning application could not be fast tracked and that far more information was needed in order to understand its full implications.

“We are pleased that Uttlesford District Council has finally reached the same conclusion. However, it remains our view that this planning application should be dealt with by the secretary of state, not by Uttlesford District Council.”

As part of the consideration of the application, and following negotiations with the applicant, the description of the development has also been revised to provide clarity regarding the limit on cargo movements.

The revised description seeks permission for airfield works comprising two new taxiway links to the existing runway, six additional remote aircraft stands, and three additional aircraft stands to enable combined airfield operations of 274,000 aircraft movements (of which not more than 16,000 movements would be cargo air transport movements) and a throughput of 43 million terminal passengers in a year.

A further consultation will be carried out once the additional information is received, and in respect of the amended description. The council also anticipates holding at least one public speaking session which will be in addition to the public speaking time available at planning committee.

A London Stansted Airport spokesman said: “Our application to make best use of our existing runway is vitally important for the future success of London Stansted Airport and the wider region and it is only right that the council carefully considers all the relevant evidence and responses from statutory consultees.

“To assist this process, and in response to requests from the council and stakeholders, we will provide additional information to support our application.

“Last week we welcomed the Government’s confirmation that it supports airports looking to make best use of their existing capacity and we are delighted that the amount of support pledged by local people and businesses for our application has doubled over the last month.

“It is vital for the UK economy that we have the best possible aviation connections to compete in a global marketplace. Growing support for our plans is clear recognition that by unlocking the airport’s potential to serve up to 43 million passengers and extend the choice of airlines and destinations we serve, Stansted can deliver that access now.”

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