Stansted Second runway programme – realism beginning to prevail?
other aspects of the proposed Public Inquiry into a second runway at Stansted
has left Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) cautiously optimistic that a sense of realism
is beginning to prevail.
took on board concerns that a fair and thorough inquiry be held – not one that
was quick and dirty for the sake of political expediency.
authorities, Stansted Airlines, BAA and others and agreed to take full account
of these before making his recommendations to the Secretary of State at the end
and SSE has expressed concern that political desire to drive through plans for
a second runway at any cost could overrule the Inspector’s desire for a fair and
144 and 200 sitting days would be required, equivalent to an inquiry lasting between
15 and 20 months. This was significantly longer than the Inspector’s provisional
view of six months. Similarly, on closer examination of the potential pitfalls,
he appeared to recognise that concurrent sessions could compromise the inquiry’s
fairness and would not necessarily be more efficient.
start of the inquiry until September on the basis that fundamental issues remained
to be resolved and the local authorities said they had no objection to this.
However, BAA clung to its position that the inquiry should start in April despite
the many uncertainties highlighted by the Inspector and other parties.
the next two months: SSE’s pending High Court Appeal into the permission to expand
on the existing runway, and the expected confirmation by the Competition Commission
that Stansted Airport should be sold. Either of these issues could well lead
to the cancellation of the second runway inquiry.
the dust to settle and thereby reduce the time ultimately required for the hearings
– in the event that an inquiry was still needed. This view was endorsed by the
Stansted airlines and the local authorities.
rather than himself and that his own focus was on the duration and programming
arrangements. His recommendations to Hazel Blears would be published shortly
but it could be mid March before the outcome is known.
"When SSE, Ryanair and EasyJet are all agreed that it would be illogical for the
inquiry to start in April, Hazel Blears will hopefully take note. It’s not often
that such a consensus happens."
meeting, Maggie Sutton of Lindsell asked the Inspector for an assurance that if,
as expected, BAA was forced to sell Stansted, the community would not have to
go through the whole second runway process again under a new owner with a different
set of plans.
have your lives; we are ordinary people who want to get on with ours without all
the blight and uncertainty of not knowing how this will all end. The Government
should think hard about the start date for the sake of local people and our lives."
the concerns to the Secretary of State.
and dirty’ public inquiry into BAA’s planning application for a second runway
at Stansted Airport. Their protest took place as officials gathered for the Inquiry
Programming Meeting at the Stansted Hilton described above.