Campaigners push for airport future debate
16:12 30 July 2014
Campaigners have called for an open debate about the long-term vision for Stansted Airport – as owners Manchester Airports Group (MAG) gear up to publish a 25-year plan next week.
MAG is expected to unveil its Sustainable Development Plan (SDP) for Stansted, setting out what it intends to do with the airport over the next two-and-a-half decades.
The SDP will initially be published as a draft for consultation, with a final version of the plan expected towards the end of the year.
According to Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE), it is understood the SDP will be based on Stansted remaining as a single runway airport.
The campaign group was pleased with the latest move by MAG and wants to encourage maximum public participation in the consultation process.
SSE chairman Peter Sanders said: “We welcome this consultation on MAG’s long-term plan for Stansted. It is being described as a ‘Sustainable Development Plan’ and we very much hope that’s what it genuinely is.
“Provided it respects all the current planning limits and confirms MAG’s commitment to Stansted continuing to be an ‘Airport in the Countryside’, there should be considerable scope for a constructive dialogue.”
Night flights, which have long been the main bone of contention for those living around the airport, will be high on SSE’s agenda in the consultation, along with MAG’s continued ownership of about 270 properties around the airport – mostly acquired in connection wite now-aborted second runway plans.
SEE want night flights phased out and the properties returned to private ownership.
MAG will be making ‘roadshow’ presentations in a wide range of locations over the coming weeks. These will be an opportunity for residents to let MAG know about any concerns they have about the current and future operation of the airport.
A spokesman for Stansted Airport said: “We recently announced that we will shortly launch a period of consultation with the local communities and key stakeholders on our Sustainable Development Plan, to consider the benefits and effects of how the airport might develop to make full use of the existing runway, and we look forward to that period of engagement to help us inform our plans.”