Plane Talk contains second error

PUBLISHED: 13:30 03 August 2006 | UPDATED: 21:14 29 May 2010

PRESSURE group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) is claiming a victory after BAA agreed to correct misleading information about noise levels in its property pack. SSE s campaign director Carol Barbone said the company had misinterpreted official government pl

PRESSURE group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) is claiming a victory after BAA agreed to correct misleading information about noise levels in its property pack.

SSE's campaign director Carol Barbone said the company had misinterpreted official government planning guidance in its Plane Talk newsletter, in which it said an increase of three decibels in equivalent continuous sound level (LEQ) was 'imperceptible' and not considered to be significant.

And Ms Barbone is pleased that BAA will be amending the literature after it was distributed to more than 1000 organisations.

She said: "Our concerns arose following bulk distribution of the pack by BAA to a network of more than 1000 estate agents, banks, solicitors and organisations, which are now in danger of passing on inaccurate information concerning the effects of noise increases to homebuyers who could easily be misled as a result.

"In addition, the Plane Talk newsletter has already been distributed to thousands of homes within the local community.

"To say that an increase of three decibels LEQ, which would be the result of increased air traffic movements, is not significant is completely untrue."

SSE made BAA aware of their concerns at a Stansted Airport meeting last Wednesday.

At the meeting, SSE deputy chairman Norman Mead told the airport's managing director Terry Morgan: "As I'm sure your noise experts are aware, an increase of three decibels in an LEQ based measurement is perceptible.

"A three decibel LEQ increase represents a doubling of the total sound energy, which could be occasioned by a doubling of the number of aircraft movements."

Speaking after the meeting, he said: "This is the second time that the property pack has contained a major error - the first occasion being the inclusion of incorrect arrivals maps in the first edition.

"Even now these are still in circulation and it is therefore incumbent on BAA to take rapid and responsible action to remedy this latest piece of misleading information."

BAA Stansted's communications director Mark Pendlington said they were correcting the pack of their own accord and did not need SSE to point out the mistake.

He said: "We take no lessons from SSE on the quality of information we provide to the public, and when we make a mistake we correct it - which is exactly what we are doing in this case.

"Our Property Pack is hugely popular and makes a real contribution to keeping the public informed about the airport's operations.

"This is a much better approach than the sniping from the sidelines we have to endure on a regular basis from SSE.

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