Stansted airport expansion timing in doubt
as opponents went to the high court to seek to overturn the government’s recent
backing for raising the limit on flights.
by up to a year the opening of the planning inquiry into BAA’s plans to build
a second runway and terminal at Stansted.
runway by 40 per cent from 25m to 35m a year.
on Tuesday to overturn the decision.
of the environmental and economic impact.
is being threatened chiefly by the change of ownership of Stansted that is expected
to be forced by the long-running investigation into BAA by the Competition Commission.
month, for the airports operator to be broken up, with the sale of three of its
seven UK airports – Gatwick, Stansted and one of either Edinburgh or Glasgow.
sale of Gatwick, the second largest UK airport.
Gatwick from a shortlist of three rival consortia by March 30 with the aim of
completing the sale by late May.
which the government has supported since the publication of the air transport
white paper in December 2003.
and local government secretary, urging the postponement of the public inquiry
by at least 12 months.
TO EXPAND CAPACITY ON STANSTED’S SINGLE RUNWAY
decision to sanction BAA’s application for an additional 10 million passengers
a year on Stansted Airport’s runway will be heard over three days this week –
Tuesday 24 to Thursday 26 February – in the High Court, London).
(a few minutes walk from the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand)
recently retired High Court Judge, with a decision expected to be forthcoming
very shortly thereafter.
increase in Stansted’s capacity was approved, it would result in the decision
to allow Stansted to handle an additional 10 million passengers a year being quashed.
Stop Stansted Expansion)] challenges three aspects of the Government’s decision
to approve an extra 10 million passengers a year and the related extra flights
on Stansted’s runway:
however substantial, can be disregarded in the decision to approve the extra flights;
afield cannot amount to a reason for refusal because to do so would frustrate
in law and in breach of clear assurances previously provided by the Government
that although its policy was to support the expansion of Stansted Airport, any
specific proposal would still be subject to rigorous examination at a planning
inquiry, where all the environmental and economic impacts would be fully considered.
If allowed to go unchallenged, the Government’s decision could have national repercussions
as well as impacts on the case against a second runway at Stansted which is due
to be heard at a Public Inquiry currently scheduled to begin in April.
SSE’s decision to mount this High Court challenge and in some cases have provided
financial support. Those who support SSE in this matter include the Campaign to
Protect Rural England (CPRE), Woodland Trust, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace,
Aviation Environment Federation, HACAN Clear Skies [Heathrow], ReStoreUK, Ramblers
Association, and the World Development Movement.
Hannett of 4-5 Grays Inn Square, London and solicitors Leigh Day & Co, St
John’s Lane, London.