Councils face £1m bill over ‘unreasonable’ block on Stansted expansion
to foot part of a £1m bill after Herts County Council was found to have acted
‘unreasonably’ while opposing the
inspector Alan Boyland concluded that the inadequacies of the case presented by
Uttlesford district and Herts county councils mean they should pay part of BAA’s
costs, estimated at more than £1m. Along with Essex, the councils spent £430,000
presenting their case.
a year should be allowed, in accordance with 2003’s Air Transport White Paper,
was endorsed by the Government last week – as was his finding that the councils’
flawed arguments put the airport to some unnecessary expense when it appealed
against refusal of planning permission.
from the Department for Communities and Local Government to both councils, which
reads: ‘In planning appeals both parties are normally expected to meet their own
expenses and costs are only awarded on grounds of ‘unreasonable behaviour’ resulting
in unnecessary expense.’
his recommendations. Accordingly she has decided that an award of partial costs
against Uttlesford District Council and Herts County Council on the grounds of
unreasonable behaviour is justified.’
Expansion to the Full Council Meeting at Uttlesford District Council last night,
21 October, appears below.
critical or to harangue. On the issue of a second runway (G2) at Stansted, we
are all singing from the same hymn-sheet.
announced two weeks ago, approving an extra 10mppa. The Government’s decision
flies in the face of the evidence presented to the Public Inquiry.
is flawed. The Government simply dismissed the evidence which it found inconvenient.
will have palpitations but this decision is too important to be made by accountants
because it may have implications for the G2 battle. No accountant has ever won
a Victoria Cross.
way and we owe it to the community to honour that pledge. However, we would not
waste our hard-earned funds on a frivolous challenge.
also the costs award. However I don’t think you need be unduly concerned about
“over and above that which was necessary to address the cases of third parties”
additional costs incurred by BAA solely to deal with UDC’s points because SSE
comprehensively challenged BAA on the other five points and in some instances
so did other third parties.
the cases of third parties. The only issue is therefore the contribution which
HCC sought from BAA for the Little Hadham by-pass. SSE did not get involved in
must depend on your legal advice.
the G1 decision could undermine our case – and your case – against a second runway.
G1 has been a long battle and I know it’s not this Council’s style to throw in
never is. There will be a judgement to make. All I ask is that it should be
a judgement for elected members and not for accountants.
point I want to make. So much has changed since BAA submitted its planning application
for a second runway in March that it would now be premature – and probably a waste
of everyone’s time and money to proceed with the Public Inquiry next Spring.
in the time since the G2 application was submitted make it wholly unrealistic
to believe that the growth in air travel will continue henceforth on a ‘business
as usual’ basis. Stansted is already 25,000 passengers a week down on last year.
This seems likely to get much worse long before it starts getting better.
of the Competition Commission’s ‘Provisional Findings’ report in August on its
Market Inquiry into BAA airports, concluding that two of BAA’s three London airports
should be sold. The Commission will publish its final report in February. If
it maintains its current view, we believe it likely that G2 will be aborted.
context at the end could be radically different from the current policy context.
The current Government supports a second Stansted runway but the Conservatives
have now joined the Libdems in openly opposing a second runway. Moreover, the
Inquiry process cannot run its full course this side of a General Election.
20 November to decide whether to appeal.