Call for airport to wait 50 years

CAMPAIGNERS have called on BAA to provide a 50-year guarantee that it will not persist with major expansion plans at Stansted Aiport.

Last week the airport operator withdrew its application for a second runway at the Essex hub following the new coalition government’s announcement that it would not back such proposals.

Now, after celebrating the victory, the Stop Stansted Expansion group has launched the final stage of its campaign against future expansion of the airport.

The key message of the new initiative is ‘Never again - but we’ll settle for 50 years’ and the objective is to secure a commitment that no additional runways will be permitted at Stansted until 2060 at the earliest.

SSE campaign director, Carol Barbone, said: “Having had to face up to – and defeat – the threat of a second Stansted runway four times in the past 50 years, we believe that the people of this area have now earned the right to be given 50 years’ peace of mind.

“And there is already a precedent. In 1979, BAA gave a legally binding guarantee that there would be no second runway at Gatwick for at least 40 years. It’s now Stansted’s turn.”

The group wants to see a commitment to a 50 year moratorium on any new runways at Stansted included in the Government’s new National Policy Statement on airports, due to be published in draft form early next year.

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This will largely determine the long term future for Stansted and will be finalised following public consultation in 2011.

The aim of SSE’s new campaign is to raise local awareness of the forthcoming policy statements and is eager for as many people as possible to respond to next year’s public consultation. As part of the build up to this, the ‘Never again’ theme will feature prominently in a new poster campaign, pictured.

Over the coming months SSE will also be aiming to enlist support for its efforts from all relevant authorities in the vicinity of Stansted Airport as well from MPs and all East of England MEPs. SSE will also be meeting Government ministers and other leading politicians to press the case for a 50 year moratorium on major expansion at Stansted Airport.

However, the group’s first action has been to write to BAA chief executive Colin Matthews setting out the justification for the moratorium. To see the full moratorium visit our website at