Manston airport has another possible chance to take cargo planes in future

Manston, once named as Kent International, was shut down four years ago. Plans to turn it into a cargo airport will be subjected to a public inquiry.  An application to upgrade the airfield and reopen it primarily as a cargo airport was accepted by the government’s Planning Inspectorate.  Its ambitions to be a cargo airport come from the days when it was touted as a viable alternative to Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted when, for a time, it traded under the name Kent International Airport. It was used by old, noisy and often clapped-out planes, that caused serious noise nuisance to residents of Ramsgate, where houses are situated on the approach path, almost up to the airport – and planes flew at night. The plans put forward by Riveroak Strategic Partners, Manston’s proposed operator, must first be subjected to a public inquiry in which local people can express their views. Cargo could perhaps be transferred onto the road system, from the airport. But its location, so far out to the north east of Kent, is far from ideal for any sort of airport.  In 2012, Flybe and KLM launched services from Manston in the mistaken belief that it could be a passenger airport. 
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Kent’s cargo airport plan is cleared for take-off

By Robert Lea, Industrial Editor (The Times)
August 16 2018

Manston, once named as Kent International, was shut down four years ago. Plans to turn it into a cargo airport will be subjected to a public inquiry

It is the airport that keeps trying to take off. Now Manston, an airfield on the Isle of Thanet, has been given the thumbs up by planning officials.

An application to upgrade the airfield in Kent and reopen it primarily as a cargo airport was accepted by the government’s Planning Inspectorate.

Sir Roger Gale, the Conservative MP for North Thanet, said that the decision recognised Manston as “a site of nationally important infrastructure”, and added: “That is what those of us who have recognised the post-Brexit strategic value of Manston have been saying for some time: we are desperately short of runway capacity in the southeast and Manston offers an opportunity to provide freight and passenger capacity.”

Manston has been closed to air traffic for four years and its ambitions to be a cargo airport come from the days when it was touted as a viable alternative to Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted when, for a time, it traded under the name Kent International Airport.

However, Manston cannot quite reach for the sky just yet. The plans put forward by Riveroak Strategic Partners, Manston’s proposed operator, must first be subjected to a public inquiry in which locals will voice opinions and weigh up the potential of economic development against concerns about noise and the environmental impact.

The argument for Manston to become a freight hub has been made often. It was put forward as a solution to the congested aviation network in the southeast because it could help to divert cargo away from the bigger airports, which are dealing with more than 150 million passengers a year.

However, the recent history of Manston has been one of shot-down dreams and dogfights between rival development plans.

Previous owners have included Ann Gloag,  the co-founder of Stagecoach, the group run and chaired by her brother Sir Brian Souter, and Planestation, the business led by Oliver Iny.

In 2012, Flybe and KLM launched services from Manston in the mistaken belief that it had a sustainable future as a passenger gateway.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/kent-s-cargo-airport-plan-is-cleared-for-take-off-nt32xdljw

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Edinburgh Airport is set to press on with introducing a new controversial flight path route, despite widespread public objection.

Edinburgh Airport is set to press on with introducing a new controversial flight path route, despite widespread public objection. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) put the airport’s initial submission on pause in September last year and asked bosses to review part of the design. A fresh proposal has now been resubmitted to the CAA, with aircraft to fly towards the west of Cramond and along the Firth of Forth under the plan. The airport carried out a consultation on the changes to its initial proposal between May and June, with 89% of the 1,167 participating against the flight path. Airport chiefs say the route will allow the airport to be more flexible with flights while building increased capacity for future growth. Campaigners argue the airport has failed to consider other viable flight path alternatives, as well as the impact the new route will have on the environment and residents’ wellbeing. Helena Paul, from Edinburgh Airport Watch, has urged the CAA to reject the new proposals, insisting the airport needs to scrap the plans and start again, taking proper account of the responses to the consultation by people who will be seriously negatively affected.
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Edinburgh flight path change gets lift-off despite opposition

Airport chiefs have said that the new flight path will allow the airport to be more flexible with traffic. 

4 August 2018 (Scotsman)

Edinburgh Airport is set to press on with introducing a new controversial flight path route, despite widespread public objection.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) put the airport’s initial submission on pause in September last year and asked bosses to review part of the design. A fresh proposal has now been resubmitted to the authority, with aircraft to fly towards the west of Cramond and along the Firth of Forth under the plan.

The airport carried out a consultation on the changes to its initial proposal between May and June, with 89 per cent of the 1,167 participating in opposition to the flight path.

Airport chiefs say the route will allow the airport to be more flexible with flights while building increased capacity for future growth.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “Vast growth at the airport, as well as the change in technology, means we need to modernise our airspace to meet current and future demand and it is a process many airports are looking at. “Our approach at Edinburgh Airport must be one that is balanced between the needs of the airport and the economy and customers we serve as well as those of our neighbouring communities. We believe our proposals do that.

“Although there was no requirement to consult, we wanted to go back to our communities to listen to their valued feedback and understand their concerns. They were part of a wider conversation with our airlines and other partners, who all have an interest in this process and our proposals take into account all of that dialogue.”

Campaigners argue airport bosses have failed to consider other viable flight path alternatives, as well as the impact the new route will have on the environment and residents’ wellbeing.

Helena Paul, from Edinburgh Airport Watch, has urged the CAA to reject the new proposals, insisting the airport needs to scrap the plans and start again.

She said: “The airport needs to engage meaningfully with communities.

“Eighty-nine per cent opposition to a flight path indicates very serious and reasonable community concern, which the airport would be wise to heed. “The airport’s three flawed consultation processes have been comprehensively rejected by the people who will bear the brunt of changes to flight paths.” “

Alternatives have been suggested, particularly a right- turn on departure off the end of the runway towards Cramond to use the wider part of the Forth to gain height before flying over people’s homes.”

https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/edinburgh-flight-path-change-gets-lift-off-despite-opposition-1-4778631
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See earlier:

CAA rejects Edinburgh Airport’s application for flight path change due to “Technical and Coordination” issues

Edinburgh airport’s planned new flight path has been put on hold after the CAA announced it was halting the process.  The CAA’s decision – which is very unusual – is understood to relate to technical aspects of the proposal, as well as a delay in receiving elements of the submission. It is not yet clear what this means for local communities that are affected by the airport and its noise, but the CAA decision is welcomed by local noise campaigners. This was the first Airspace Change proposal, by Edinburgh airport, which anticipates many more. Local group, Edinburgh Airport Watch (EAW) said that during the 2 year consultation process, multiple flaws and errors by the airport were identified at every stage. It remains to be seen whether the CAA will require a new application by Edinburgh airport to be determined under the CAA’s new rules for Airspace Change, rather than the old ones.  Many people under newly concentrated flight paths have been experiencing much worse plane noise, in the past few years.  EAW says the airport now has fewer aircraft movements than 10 years ago, and new routes are not needed. They want the airport to “learn from their past mistakes, and start a proper, meaningful and respectful dialogue with Communities that leads to substantial improvements.”

Click here to view full story…

Edinburgh Airport flight path plans altered slightly after public consultation with negative responses

Edinburgh Airport said it has modified its proposals for changes to its flight paths following its latest public consultation. It has submitted these revised airspace change proposals to the CAA. Residents living under the new routes said they were concerned about increased aircraft noise and the impact on their communities.  Campaign group Edinburgh Airport Watch said: “We call on the airport to halt this flawed process now. The CAA must scrutinise this application very carefully, and understand that there is no community support for these changes….We call on our government to intervene and ask serious questions about whose interests are being served by such radical proposals for change to flight paths that will have life-altering consequences for the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of people across east central Scotland.”  The airport said it would only use any new routes when “they are required, and that we should explain very clearly when that is and why”. It said it had also restricted the routes to peak hours. Campaigners said the airport had only published “vague information” about the changed plans. The airport’s CEO said they will do a phased approach, and the new routes will help the airport handle more planes during the short peak periods. The airport is not busy enough at other times to need them. There have been two public consultations held into the proposals.

Click here to view full story…

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Data shows the NOx produced by Heathrow planes is over double that produced by road vehicles

There is a widely held belief that Heathrow’s NO2 air pollution is largely due to road vehicles, and as long as measures can be taken to reduce these a bit, then a 3rd runway could be allowed. However, research indicates that the aircraft are producing even more NOx than the road vehicles, and there is far less that can be done to cut these emissions. Indeed, if there were to be almost 50% more Heathrow flights, the amount of NOx generated by the aircraft alone would mean a massive increase locally. That is not taking into account all the extra road traffic that would inevitably be generated by a larger Heathrow, including businesses etc that locate near the airport and all their traffic. The 2013 figures from a study for Heathrow, by Ricardo-AEA Ltd show the amount of NOx emitted from planes up to 1000 metres altitude was 2761 tonnes NOx/ year, and 1524 tonnes from aircraft on the ground (ie a total of 4285 tonnes/ year). Also 274 tonnes/year from other airport sources. Then 350 tonnes/year from Heathrow associated trips on main roads in a 11km x 11km area, and 1661 tonnes/ year from non-Heathrow associated traffic in that 11x11km area. (ie. a total of 2011 for all road traffic). So the amount from planes is way over twice the amount from road vehicles. And that ignores the NOx from planes in the wider area, over 1000 metres altitude.
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Heathrow Airport 2013 Air Quality Assessment

Report for Heathrow Airport

By Ricardo-AEA/R/3438 Issue Number 1

Date 16/01/2015

http://www.heathrowairwatch.org.uk/documents/Heathrow_Airport_2013_Air_Quality_Assessment_Detailed_Emissions_Inventory.pdf

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There is a lot of detail in the paper, but below are a couple of quotes.

 

This report presents an assessment of air quality in the neighbourhood of Heathrow Airport in the year 2013.

It considers the impacts of the operation of the airport (including road traffic to and from the airport), as well as non-airport sources of air pollution, in order to estimate both the overall picture of air quality and the airport’s contribution to it.

Broadly speaking, near Heathrow there are three main categories of air pollution:

 Road traffic, some of which will be travelling to or from the airport;

 Heathrow Airport itself, especially aircraft engines and the ground support vehicles and equipment that service the aircraft;

 Other sources both local and more distant, such as domestic and commercial heating, industrial processes, and other vehicles and equipment powered by combustion engines. The study was designed with these purposes in mind. The work falls into three main parts:

 First, an emissions inventory is calculated to estimate how much of each pollutant is emitted from the different sources.

 Second, dispersion modelling calculates how the emissions are carried through the air, due to meteorological conditions such as wind speed and direction, and the resulting concentrations of pollution in the air.

 These modelled concentrations are then compared with monitoring data as a check on the accuracy of the model.

The final total concentrations are also compared with the air quality limit values to see if there is a risk of them being exceeded.

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They conclude on NOx:

Aircraft make a dominant contribution to the airport NOx emissions. It should be borne in mind that this is for aircraft emissions in the LTO cycle (so cruise emissions are excluded because they have no impact on local air quality), and road network emissions are presented only on major roads within the 11 km × 11 km area around the airport. Choosing a larger road network area would change the balance of calculated emissions.

On PM10 particles :

Focusing on airport-related sources, emissions from airport-related traffic on the road network are roughly equal to aircraft emissions, in contrast to NOx where aircraft emissions were dominant. However it should be repeated that choosing a different road network area would change the balance of calculated emissions.

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Farnborough Airport gets go ahead on airspace expansion despite inevitable ‘increase in noise’

Farnborough Airport has been given the green light to go ahead with a planned airspace expansion despite suggestions from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that there could be an increase in noise. The aviation authority also suggested there could be an increase in noise for those who already experience noise pollution, but there would be no new people significantly affected by noise. TAG Farnborough Airport’s application has been “largely” approved by the CAA, which provides guidance and regulation on all aspects of civil aviation in the UK. The CAA said that given the increase in business aviation at the site, there was a material safety case for introducing controlled airspace around the airport. However, TAG will have to concede some of the controlled space it applied for to collaborate on reasonable access arrangements for gliders in 3 airspace blocks in the vicinity of RAF Odiham and Lasham Airfield. Though the flight paths do not go directly over Guildford, Aldershot and Farnham, there is a lot of overflight of the southern limit of Farnham, causing noise intrusion. While in theory there are “no new people who will be significantly affected by noise as a result of this proposal” in reality many will experience an increase in noise, even if technically there is no theoretical increase.
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Farnborough Airport gets go ahead on airspace expansion despite possible ‘increase in noise’

The Civil Aviation Authority has studied the various impacts of the proposed expansion and “largely” approved the plan

By Thomas Dean (Get Surrey)
13 AUG 2018

TAG Farnborough Airport welcomes the decision by the CAA to approve its airspace change proposal

Farnborough Airport has been given the green light to go ahead with a planned airspace expansion despite suggestions from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that there could be an increase in noise.

TAG Farnborough Airport’s application has been “largely” approved by the CAA, which provides guidance and regulation on all aspects of civil aviation in the UK.

The CAA said that given the increase in business aviation at the site, there was a material safety case for introducing controlled airspace around the airport.

However, TAG will have to concede some of the controlled space it applied for to collaborate on reasonable access arrangements for gliders in three airspace blocks in the vicinity of RAF Odiham and Lasham Airfield.

The aviation authority also suggested there could be an increase in noise for those who already experience noise pollution, but there would be no new people significantly affected by noise.

CAA takes a number of factors into account when deciding on proposals, including the environmental impact, efficiency and safety.

Conclusions in respect of environmental impact
The runway has been designed to avoid direct over-flight of Guildford, Aldershot and Farnham.

While it is correct that the runway avoids direct overflight of these towns, it is noted that it still remains close to the southern limit of Farnham, such that residents in this vicinity may perceive they are overflown.

There are no new people who will be significantly affected by noise as a result of this proposal. However, that does not mean there will not be some people who experience an increase in noise.

The bottom line is that the overall exposure of any individual or community to noise on the ground is not anticipated to increase to a level that exceeds 57dB and therefore conforms with noise regulations.

With regard to CO2 and based on the actual number of aircraft movements in 2016, the anticipated increase in number of aircraft movements would generate an increase of 1,700 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The CAA believes this increase to be comparatively small.

Conclusions in respect of efficiency
CAA considers that the most efficient use of airspace means the use of airspace that secures the greatest number of movements of aircraft through a specific volume of airspace over a period of time so that the best use is made of the limited resource of UK airspace.

They have concluded that by implementing TAG’s proposal it will result in more expeditious routes for aircraft arriving and departing Farnborough, as they will be able to flight plan the new routes and procedures and are less likely to be re-routed on arrivals or shortly after departure.

Conclusions in respect of safety
CAA’s Safety and Airspace Regulation Group’s Instrument Flight Procedure (SARG IFP) regulators’ analysis reached the view that all designs, in the final form proposed, were compliant with extant regulations.

The CAA acknowledges the adverse environmental noise impact on some local communities resulting from the concentration of aircraft tracks that it anticipates will result from the introduction of new technology.

However, taking into account its primary duty to maintain a high level of safety, its own policy and the UK obligation to introduce performance based navigation, the CAA has decided to approve the change requested.

Statement from TAG Farnborough Airport
A spokesman said: “TAG Farnborough Airport welcomes the decision by the CAA to approve its airspace change proposal.

“We will carefully study the CAA’s decision and recommendations as we plan for the future.”

https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/hampshire-news/farnborough-airport-gets-go-ahead-14977687

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Climate Change charity Plan B begins legal action against Grayling over Government’s Heathrow expansion plans

Climate change campaign Plan B, has started legal action against Transport Secretary Chris Grayling over his plans for Heathrow expansion.  Plan B say the proposal breaches legal obligations in the Planning Act to alleviate the impact of climate change. Plan B join 4 other legal challenges against the runway plans (5 councils and Greenpeace UK, Heathrow Hub, a resident Neil Spurrier, and Friends of the Earth UK). Tim Crosland, Director of Plan B, said: ‘The Government has an express obligation under the Planning Act to promote sustainable development, with specific reference to the impacts of climate change. That means safeguarding the interests of current and future generations of UK citizens. Plan B says the NPS does not even consider the Government’s obligations under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change or that in April this year, the Government committed to a review of its climate targets in light of the Paris Agreement. Plan B’s legal action focuses exclusively on climate change impact.
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Plan B begins legal action against Heathrow expansion

Climate Change Campaigners Launch Legal Action Against Heathrow Expansion

6th August 2018 (Plan B press release)

Climate change charity Plan B, has started legal action against Transport Secretary Chris Grayling over his plans for Heathrow expansion.

Plan B say the proposal breaches legal obligations in the Planning Act to alleviate the impact of climate change.

Plan B join a number of others, including Greenpeace and a number of councils, who are challenging the development.

Tim Crosland, Director of Plan B, said: ‘The Government has an express obligation under the Planning Act to promote sustainable development, with specific reference to the impacts of climate change. That means safeguarding the interests of current and future generations of UK citizens.

‘The National Policy Statement designated by Chris Grayling in June does not even consider the Government’s obligations under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change or the fact that in April this year, the Government committed to a review of its climate targets in light of the Paris Agreement.

‘We consider that to be an obvious and serious breach of the Act, which renders the plans to expand Heathrow airport unlawful. Indeed Lord Deben, the Chair of the Government’s advisory body on climate change, the CCC, wrote to Chris Grayling in June to express his surprise at the Government’s failure to consider its climate change obligations in this context. That’s why we’ve today (6 August 2018) submitted a claim for judicial review to the High Court.’

Plan B’s legal action is distinct from that being brought by other organisations, and focuses exclusively on climate change impact rather that of noise or air pollution

https://planb.earth/plan-b-begins-legal-action-against-heathrow-expansion/

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More about Plan B:

Plan B is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) registered with UK Charity Commissioners (registered no. 1167953).   https://planb.earth/about/

Mission statement

Plan B has been established to support strategic legal action against climate change. By ensuring those responsible for greenhouse gas emissions bear the costs of loss and damage, we will increase the incentives for investment in clean technologies, harnessing market forces towards a better future for us all.​​​

Strategic objectives​​​

That by 2021:

  • (SO 1) Existing legal principles, which provide accountability and responsibility for climate change loss and damage, have been successfully applied and integrated into the market economy​
  • (SO 2) Robust, science-based policy, legal and regulatory frameworks, in support of the climate temperature goal, have been implemented nationally and internationally
  • (SO 3) Victims of climate change have access to effective protections and remedies.

What we do

​We will, inter alia:

  • Raise awareness about the critical role of strategic legal action in tackling climate change.
  • Develop and make publicly available information and resources to support legal actions.
  • Work in collaboration with other organisations to develop and implement a broad, networked strategy for bridging ‘the emissions gap’.
  • Support and commence legal action where appropriate.
  • Develop guidance for governments on developing and implementing legal and regulatory frameworks sufficient to meet their legal responsibilities.

Our approach

Operating as a small, niche organisation, and avoiding unnecessary overheads, we will target our resources on high impact interventions, introducing innovative methodologies that may be adopted by others at scale. Partnership and collaboration will be at the heart of its approach.

Over the period 2016-21 we will aim to build strong relationships with key partners in government, civil society, academia and industry, including by acting as a catalyst for network and strategy development in support of common goals.

What makes us different

There are other not-for-profit organisations of environmental lawyers supporting action to address climate change. Often such organisations have a regional focus and bring cases in response to particular projects or activities. We will aim to work with them and ensure our activities our complementary and mutually supportive.

Plan B is unique in focussing on the development of a net-worked, international legal strategy to meet the long-term climate goal; and in developing and publishing legal tools and resources to support citizens, NGOs and others in bringing their own actions around the globe.

About the web-site

The Plan B web-site is a publicly available resource designed to help lawyers, NGOS and others evaluate possible legal avenues to containing dangerous climate change and pursuing climate justice. It does not constitute legal advice. Anyone considering pursuing litigation should consult with an attorney licensed to practice law in the relevant jurisdiction.

Making detailed legal analysis available online has a number of advantages over a traditional text-book:

  • It is freely accessible to all;
  • It can be regularly updated; and
  • Users of the web-site can easily contribute ideas, suggestions and corrections (helping to ensure the overall integrity of materials).​

https://planb.earth/about/

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See also

Friends of the Earth launches High Court legal challenge against Government decision on Heathrow runway NPS

Friends of the Earth (FoE) believes the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement, (NPS) which backs building a Heathrow 3rd runway, fails to address the UK’s climate change obligations. So they have started formal legal action at the High Court. The legal action challenges the legal basis of the government’s decision to designate the NPS, which gives the go-ahead to a 3rd runway.  Lawyers Leigh Day, on behalf of FoE, have filed papers with the High Court – asking for the Airports NPS published in June to be quashed. They argue the NPS  is illegal because  • it does not explain how it takes account of domestic targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction under the Climate Change Act 2008; • it does not factor in the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C; • it fails to factor in the non-CO2 climate impacts of a 3rd runway, such as the emission of nitrogen oxides, which generate warming effects of a similar magnitude to CO2 emissions; and • it does not lawfully and fully consider the likely impact on future generations. A decision on whether there will be a full hearing about these issues is expected to be made this autumn.

Click here to view full story…

 

See also

Lawyers acting for a consortium of local authorities and others have issued JR proceedings in the High Court re. Heathrow runway

Lawyers acting for a consortium of local authorities and others have now issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court against the Secretary of State for Transport, on the basis that he has unlawfully designated the Airports National Policy Statement [NPS] under the Planning Act 2008. The proceedings challenging the expansion of Heathrow airport have been brought by the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith and Fulham, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Greenpeace and the Mayor of London.  The grounds of challenge are on air quality, inadequate environmental assessment, climate change, surface access, breach of the habitats directive and a flawed consultation process. Councillor Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “Once again we have a government that is trying to avoid applying both the correct legal process and common sense to the question of airport expansion. The abject failure to address the far reaching consequences for both the environment and the health and wellbeing of tens of thousands of residents across London is simply not acceptable.” The many flaws in the scheme need to be subjected to the rigorous scrutiny of the legal process, and its serious failings exposed.

Click here to view full story…

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Heathrow runway rival – “Heathrow Hub” – launches legal challenge to DfT on its 3rd runway decision

The sponsor of a rival project to build a 3rd runway at Heathrow, Heathrow Hub, has started its challenge against the DfT for its decision to back the airport’s north-west runway scheme. Sky News has obtained a letter sent on Friday 27th July by lawyers acting for Heathrow Hub, ‎which paves the way for it to seek a full judicial review of the Government’s decision. They have engaged Martin Kingston QC, a planning expert at No5 Chambers, and Robert O’Donoghue, a prominent figure in cases of competition law from Brick Court, to fight its case. In the pre-action letter, the law firm DAC Beachcroft accused the DfT of failing to provide information about the Heathrow decision-making process sought under freedom of information (FoI) laws. It requested that the DfT’s Airports National Policy Statement (NPS)  be quashed on 5 principal grounds. These include a flawed understanding by ministers of the capacity for new air traffic movements created by extending the airport’s northern runway, to the west. Heathrow Hub also believes it was unlawful for the DfT to “effectively [give Heathrow] a veto” over their proposal (the airport always favoured their own scheme).  Heathrow Hub is a privately owned company, funded by a hedge fund manager. There is also the challenge by 5 councils and the Mayor London, and one by a private citizen, Neil Spurrier.

Click here to view full story…

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Resident affected by Heathrow noise has given notice to seek Judicial Review against DfT re. runway

Neil Spurrier, a resident in Teddington, a member of the Teddington Action Group (TAG) has given notice that he is seeking a Judicial Review, in the event of Parliament voting in favour of the Airports NPS, to give consent to build a 3rd Heathrow runway. Teddington is already very badly affected by noise, when the airport is operating on easterlies. A 3rd runway would make the noise problem far worse. Neil’s letter to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, says:  “I am intending to bring a claim for Judicial Review should the National Policy Statement be put before Parliament and subsequently designated as a National Policy Statement in accordance with the provisions of the Planning Act 2008.”  The Matter being challenged is:  “The Designation of the National Policy Statement of new runway capacity and infrastructure at airports in the South East of England and in particular the choice of Heathrow airport for expansion with a third runway. I would intend to ask the Court for an order declaring the National Policy Statement void through breaching existing laws and would ask for a prohibiting order prohibiting the continuation of the National Policy Statement or the granting of a Development Consent following the National Policy Statement.” 

Click here to view full story…

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Friends of the Earth launches High Court legal challenge against Government decision on Heathrow runway NPS

Friends of the Earth (FoE) believes the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement, (NPS) which backs building a Heathrow 3rd runway, fails to address the UK’s climate change obligations. So they have started formal legal action at the High Court. The legal action challenges the legal basis of the government’s decision to designate the NPS, which gives the go-ahead to a 3rd runway.  Lawyers Leigh Day, on behalf of FoE, have filed papers with the High Court – asking for the Airports NPS published in June to be quashed. They argue the NPS  is illegal because  • it does not explain how it takes account of domestic targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction under the Climate Change Act 2008; • it does not factor in the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C; • it fails to factor in the non-CO2 climate impacts of a 3rd runway, such as the emission of nitrogen oxides, which generate warming effects of a similar magnitude to CO2 emissions; and • it does not lawfully and fully consider the likely impact on future generations. A decision on whether there will be a full hearing about these issues is expected to be made this autumn.

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Friends of the Earth launches High Court legal challenge to Heathrow expansion

Government’s Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) fails to address climate change
7 Aug 2018  (Friends of the Earth press release)

Formal legal action has begun at the High Court over claims the decision by the government to allow the building of a third runway at Heathrow Airport is unlawful as it fails to address the UK’s climate change obligations.

The legal challenge brought by Friends of the Earth challenges the legal basis of the government’s decision to designate the Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), the policy framework for expansion at Heathrow Airport devised by the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, which gives the go-ahead to a third runway at Heathrow.

Lawyers Leigh Day, on behalf of Friends of the Earth, filed papers with the High Court on 6 August 2018 asking for the Airports NPS published in June to be quashed. The environmental campaign charity claims that the NPS fails to account for all the impacts on future generations, who will be left with the adverse consequences of growth from aviation-increasing climate impacts.

In the papers filed at the High Court Friends of the Earth argues that the government’s Airports NPS is unlawful as it amounts to a breach of the UK’s climate change policy, as well as its sustainable development duties, due to the following:

• it does not explain how it takes account of domestic targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction under the Climate Change Act 2008;

• it does not factor in the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C;

• it fails to factor in the non-CO2 climate impacts of a third runway, such as the emission of nitrogen oxides, which generate warming effects of a similar magnitude to CO2 emissions;

• it does not lawfully and fully consider the likely impact on future generations of a third runway, who will be stranded with the climate-damaging infrastructure.

Friends of the Earth’s director of campaigns Liz Hutchins said:

“The government’s airports strategy completely ignores its obligations to tackle climate change – this is short-sighted, incredibly reckless and we believe it is unlawful.

“Allowing the aviation industry to pump more pollution into the atmosphere will make it far harder to prevent catastrophic climate change – and leaves future generations to suffer the consequences.

“It’s time to end our reliance on the fossil fuels that are already roasting our planet and threatening peoples’ lives, homes and livelihoods.”

Rowan Smith from the public law team at Leigh Day said:

“Our client believes that the expansion of Heathrow Airport will jeopardise the UK’s ability to make the very deep reductions in Greenhouse Gases that will be necessary to prevent global warming from causing catastrophic, irreversible impacts for the environment and future generations. In no sensible terms can this be described as sustainable development, when the additional costs of carbon-offsetting and the global warming potential of non-CO2 emissions from aviation do not feature in the government’s plans.

“The government has a legal duty to take into account climate change policy and the Paris agreement it has committed to with the global community, the Airports National Policy Statement does not adequately consider those factors and we therefore will argue that it is unlawful.”

A decision on whether there will be a full hearing about these issues is expected to be made this Autumn.

https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate-change/friends-earth-launches-high-court-legal-challenge-heathrow-expansion

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See also

Lawyers acting for a consortium of local authorities and others have issued JR proceedings in the High Court re. Heathrow runway

Lawyers acting for a consortium of local authorities and others have now issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court against the Secretary of State for Transport, on the basis that he has unlawfully designated the Airports National Policy Statement [NPS] under the Planning Act 2008. The proceedings challenging the expansion of Heathrow airport have been brought by the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith and Fulham, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Greenpeace and the Mayor of London.  The grounds of challenge are on air quality, inadequate environmental assessment, climate change, surface access, breach of the habitats directive and a flawed consultation process. Councillor Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “Once again we have a government that is trying to avoid applying both the correct legal process and common sense to the question of airport expansion. The abject failure to address the far reaching consequences for both the environment and the health and wellbeing of tens of thousands of residents across London is simply not acceptable.” The many flaws in the scheme need to be subjected to the rigorous scrutiny of the legal process, and its serious failings exposed.

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Heathrow runway rival – “Heathrow Hub” – launches legal challenge to DfT on its 3rd runway decision

The sponsor of a rival project to build a 3rd runway at Heathrow, Heathrow Hub, has started its challenge against the DfT for its decision to back the airport’s north-west runway scheme. Sky News has obtained a letter sent on Friday 27th July by lawyers acting for Heathrow Hub, ‎which paves the way for it to seek a full judicial review of the Government’s decision. They have engaged Martin Kingston QC, a planning expert at No5 Chambers, and Robert O’Donoghue, a prominent figure in cases of competition law from Brick Court, to fight its case. In the pre-action letter, the law firm DAC Beachcroft accused the DfT of failing to provide information about the Heathrow decision-making process sought under freedom of information (FoI) laws. It requested that the DfT’s Airports National Policy Statement (NPS)  be quashed on 5 principal grounds. These include a flawed understanding by ministers of the capacity for new air traffic movements created by extending the airport’s northern runway, to the west. Heathrow Hub also believes it was unlawful for the DfT to “effectively [give Heathrow] a veto” over their proposal (the airport always favoured their own scheme).  Heathrow Hub is a privately owned company, funded by a hedge fund manager. There is also the challenge by 5 councils and the Mayor London, and one by a private citizen, Neil Spurrier.

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Resident affected by Heathrow noise has given notice to seek Judicial Review against DfT re. runway

Neil Spurrier, a resident in Teddington, a member of the Teddington Action Group (TAG) has given notice that he is seeking a Judicial Review, in the event of Parliament voting in favour of the Airports NPS, to give consent to build a 3rd Heathrow runway. Teddington is already very badly affected by noise, when the airport is operating on easterlies. A 3rd runway would make the noise problem far worse. Neil’s letter to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, says:  “I am intending to bring a claim for Judicial Review should the National Policy Statement be put before Parliament and subsequently designated as a National Policy Statement in accordance with the provisions of the Planning Act 2008.”  The Matter being challenged is:  “The Designation of the National Policy Statement of new runway capacity and infrastructure at airports in the South East of England and in particular the choice of Heathrow airport for expansion with a third runway. I would intend to ask the Court for an order declaring the National Policy Statement void through breaching existing laws and would ask for a prohibiting order prohibiting the continuation of the National Policy Statement or the granting of a Development Consent following the National Policy Statement.” 

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Lawyers acting for a consortium of local authorities and others have issued JR proceedings in the High Court re. Heathrow runway

Lawyers acting for a consortium of local authorities and others have now issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court against the Secretary of State for Transport, on the basis that he has unlawfully designated the Airports National Policy Statement [NPS] under the Planning Act 2008. The proceedings challenging the expansion of Heathrow airport have been brought by the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith and Fulham, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Greenpeace and the Mayor of London.  The grounds of challenge are on air quality, inadequate environmental assessment, climate change, surface access, breach of the habitats directive and a flawed consultation process. Councillor Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “Once again we have a government that is trying to avoid applying both the correct legal process and common sense to the question of airport expansion. The abject failure to address the far reaching consequences for both the environment and the health and wellbeing of tens of thousands of residents across London is simply not acceptable.” The many flaws in the scheme need to be subjected to the rigorous scrutiny of the legal process, and its serious failings exposed.
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Judicial review launched against Heathrow expansion

Lawyers acting for a consortium of local authorities and others have today issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court against the Secretary of State for Transport, on the basis that he has unlawfully designated the Airports National Policy Statement [NPS] under the Planning Act 2008.

Jet taking off

 

6 August 2018  (Hillingdon Borough Council press release)

The proceedings challenging the expansion of Heathrow airport have been brought by the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith and Fulham, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Greenpeace and the Mayor of London.

The grounds of challenge are on air quality, inadequate environmental assessment, climate change, surface access, breach of the habitats directive and a flawed consultation process.

Councillor Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “Once again we have a government that is trying to avoid applying both the correct legal process and common sense to the question of airport expansion.

“The abject failure to address the far reaching consequences for both the environment and the health and wellbeing of tens of thousands of residents across London is simply not acceptable.

“This council is not prepared to stand back and allow this to happen without submitting the many flaws in this project to the rigorous scrutiny of the High Court and beyond, if necessary.

“I have confidence in the judicial process and am hopeful, that as with the previous judicial review challenge which was heard back in 2010, that the court will expose the many failings of this ill-thought-through project”.

https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/article/34097/Judicial-review-launched-against-Heathrow-expansion

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Lillian Greenwood, Chair of the Transport Committee, accuses Grayling of ignoring its Heathrow recommendations

The UK government has largely ignored recommendations from the Transport Select Committee, a key parliamentary body, about Heathrow’s 3rd runway scheme. The committee’s Chair, Lilian Greenwood, said this makes it more likely the courts will strike down the project. She said Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, “gave the impression that 24 of our 25 recommendations had been accepted”, but said his comments were just “rhetoric”. … “The reality was that only two or three of our recommendations were actually accepted. …“I suppose at best you could say that the government said they agreed with the spirit of our recommendations and would ensure those matters were dealt with in the [planning] process.” The committee’s recommendations, if the runway went ahead, included adopting stricter air-quality standards, setting a binding target to prevent more airport-related traffic and defining noise-pollution limits.  Now a Judicial Review of the government’s Airports NPS (ie. the Heathrow runway) by 5 local councils and Greenpeace, with the backing of the Mayor of London, is starting. If the courts overturn the government’s decision, it “make the economic case on which Heathrow expansion is predicated less favourable”.  ie. not good for investors.

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Lillian Greenwood, Chair of the Transport Committee, accuses Grayling of ignoring its Heathrow recommendations

The UK government has largely ignored recommendations from the Transport Select Committee, a key parliamentary body, about Heathrow’s 3rd runway scheme. The committee’s Chair, Lilian Greenwood, said this makes it more likely the courts will strike down the project. She said Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, “gave the impression that 24 of our 25 recommendations had been accepted”, but said his comments were just “rhetoric”. … “The reality was that only two or three of our recommendations were actually accepted. …“I suppose at best you could say that the government said they agreed with the spirit of our recommendations and would ensure those matters were dealt with in the [planning] process.” The committee’s recommendations, if the runway went ahead, included adopting stricter air-quality standards, setting a binding target to prevent more airport-related traffic and defining noise-pollution limits.  Now a Judicial Review of the government’s Airports NPS (ie. the Heathrow runway) by 5 local councils and Greenpeace, with the backing of the Mayor of London, is starting. If the courts overturn the government’s decision, it “make the economic case on which Heathrow expansion is predicated less favourable”.  ie. not good for investors.
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Grayling accused of snubbing MPs advice over Heathrow

Fears ignoring recommendations on new runway’s impact could imperil development

High Court is to consider a judicial review of government’s decision to support the £14bn Heathrow extension

By Josh Spero, Transport Correspondent (Financial Times)

AUGUST 5, 2018

The UK government has largely ignored recommendations from a key parliamentary committee about Heathrow airport’s third runway scheme, the committee’s chair has said, making it much more likely that courts will strike down the project.

Lilian Greenwood, the Labour MP who chairs the Commons transport select committee, said transport secretary Chris Grayling “gave the impression that 24 of our 25 recommendations had been accepted”, but said his comments were just “rhetoric”.

“The reality was that only two or three of our recommendations were actually accepted,” she said. “I suppose at best you could say that the government said they agreed with the spirit of our recommendations and would ensure those matters were dealt with in the [planning] process.”

The committee’s recommendations for Heathrow expansion included adopting stricter air-quality standards, setting a binding target to prevent more airport-related traffic and defining noise-pollution limits.

Later this year, the High Court will consider a judicial review against the government’s decision to support the £14bn Heathrow project. The judicial review has been brought by five local councils, with the backing of Sadiq Khan, the Labour mayor of London, and Greenpeace, the environmental campaigning organisation.

The councils are challenging the decision on the grounds of air quality, climate change, noise pollution and transport access.

Ms Greenwood said that if the courts overturned the government’s decision, it would “make the economic case on which Heathrow expansion is predicated less favourable” and mean “even greater extended uncertainty” for local communities.

Ms Greenwood’s committee has also been investigating the failure of the East Coast mainline franchise. In May, the government stripped the franchise from Virgin and Stagecoach.

It has also been looking into the disastrous introduction of new timetables in May, which has led to thousands of cancelled services and months of disruption.

Ms Greenwood criticised Mr Grayling over both affairs, saying both she and her colleagues on the cross-party committee felt “the secretary of state hasn’t been as candid as we would have liked around some of the decision-making in the department”.

Ms Greenwood added that Mr Grayling’s decision to make the East Coast franchise a public-private partnership was somewhat ad hoc, saying: “It certainly felt like it was a work in progress.”

“When Chris Grayling came in front of us it seemed pretty clear that he hasn’t decided what it was going to look like,” she said. “He’s pinning a lot on Andrew Haines as the [incoming] chief executive of Network Rail to deliver this new approach.”

https://www.ft.com/content/e7621a3c-96f7-11e8-b67b-b8205561c3fe

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Birmingham Airport’s passenger numbers down every month this year so far

Birmingham Airport lost an average of 1,800 passengers per day in the first half of 2018. The airport has seen a fall in like-for-like passenger numbers of about 5% in each of the past 8 months after its long run of growth reversed. Now budget airline Primera Air has announced it is to pull all 7 of its European routes just 11 weeks after its maiden flight from Birmingham. Primera Air said operations were no longer “commercially viable” from Birmingham, based on the demand it had seen for its winter schedule. In June it suspended its flights from Birmingham to New York and Toronto after less than a month. It had previously cancelled its Birmingham-Boston service before it launched. CAA data show 331,000 fewer passengers using Birmingham in the first half of 2018, continuing a trend that began late last year. June saw a fall of 63,000 passengers, with Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands worst affected. Birmingham-Tenerife had nearly 15,000 fewer passengers, Malaga was down by more than 13,000, Alicante fell 12,000 and Barcelona dropped by 11,000. But there were 15,000 more passengers to Turkey and 11,000 more to Greece.
 
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Birmingham Airport’s passenger numbers begin to nosedive

1.8.2018 (The Business Desk)

Birmingham Airport lost an average of 1,800 passengers a day in the first half of 2018.

The airport has seen a fall in like-for-like passenger numbers in each of the past eight months after its long run of growth nosedived.It received more bad news yesterday, with budget airline Primera Air announcing it is to pull all seven of its European routes just 11 weeks after its maiden flight from Birmingham.

Primera Air said operations were no longer “commercially viable” from Birmingham, based on the demand it had seen for its winter schedule.

But in a statement Birmingham Airport responded by blaming “operational reasons” for Primera Air’s decisions and pointedly adding that the news was “disappointing, especially as there is so much demand for these destinations”. Primera is also stopping some routes from Stansted.

In June the Icelandic-owned airline suspended its transatlantic flights from Birmingham to New York and Toronto after less than a month. It had previously cancelled its Birmingham-Boston service before it launched.

The withdrawal of European routes will put further pressure on passenger numbers, which have been down by an average of 5% each month this year.

Analysis of data from the Civil Aviation Authority showed 331,000 fewer passengers flew in or out of Birmingham in the first six months of the year, continuing a trend that began late last year.

Birmingham Airport’s monthly passenger figures had shown like-for-like growth since at least 2014 until November 2017:

http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/_files/images/jul_18/Birmingham-Airport-passenger-numbers-change.jpg

June saw a fall of 63,000 passengers, with Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands worst affected. Birmingham-Tenerife had nearly 15,000 fewer passengers, while Malaga was down by more than 13,000, Alicante fell 12,000 and Barcelona dropped by 11,000.

Countries which gained in popularity included Turkey, which added 15,000 passengers, and Greece, which was up by 11,000.

Birmingham Airport, which has been without a permanent chief executive since the departure of Paul Kehoe a year ago, did not respond to requests for an interview.   

http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/2019970-airports-passenger-numbers-begin-nosedive  

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Stop Stansted Expansion wants Uttlesford District Council to allow more time (not 31st August deadline) for consultation on airport expansion plans

Campaigners against plans to expand passenger numbers and flights at Stansted  are calling for more time for the public to consider new information about the plans.  Airport owner MAG is seeking permission to raise the upper threshold for passenger numbers and flights.  Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) argues Uttlesford District Council’s (UDC) August 31 deadline for comments on an extra 900 pages of information is not enough. SSE says the council and the airport owners were seeking to “rush through” the application, and corners were being cut.  SSE chairman Peter Sanders said: “This is an impossible deadline to achieve, unless Uttlesford only wants to receive superficial responses. Parish and town councils don’t even meet during August, nor does UDC council or cabinet. August is a lost month so far as a public consultation is concerned.  It is especially galling because Uttlesford caused this problem in the first place. The council should not have accepted such a deficient planning application back in February. It is a case of more haste, less speed.” SSE is pursuing a high court challenge aimed at transferring responsibility for determining the planning application from UDC to the Secretary of State.

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Campaigners against airport expansion call for more time to consider new information

30 July 2018 (EADT – East Anglian Daily Times)

Campaigners against plans to expand passenger numbers and flights at Stansted airport are calling for more time for the public to consider new information about the plans.

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) argues Uttlesford District Council’s (UDC) August 31 deadline for comments on an extra 900 pages of information is not enough.

Airport owners Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is seeking permission to raise the upper threshold for passenger numbers and flights.

SSE, which is highly critical of its proposals, claims the council and the airport owners were seeking to “rush through” the application, and corners were being cut.

SSE chairman Peter Sanders said: “This is an impossible deadline to achieve, unless Uttlesford only wants to receive superficial responses. Parish and town councils don’t even meet during August, nor does UDC council or cabinet. August is a lost month so far as a public consultation is concerned.”

“It is especially galling because Uttlesford caused this problem in the first place. The council should not have accepted such a deficient planning application back in February. It is a case of more haste, less speed.”

The group is pursuing a high court challenge aimed at transferring responsibility for determining the planning application from UDC to the Secretary of State.

A council spokesperson said as further analysis and work was required, particularly around surface access, noise and air quality, timescales were changed. The full information had been received and a further period of public consultation was now being carried out.

“It was not possible to stick to the original July timescales as stated in the Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) as further analysis and work was required,” the spokesperson said.

“Following receipt of revised documents UDC met with the statutory consultees to establish that all of the appropriate and correct information had been provided and checked. Rather than consult on numerous occasions, officers considered that a single consultation would prevent confusion to consultees and the public.

“The full information has now been received, and a further period of public consultation is being carried out with statutory consultees, local residents and other interested parties. The PPA is also being renegotiated with MAG and Essex County Council and when it is finalised, the revised timescales for dealing with this application will be announced.”

Visit www.uttlesford.gov.uk/airportapplication for details of how to comment.

http://www.eadt.co.uk/business/uttlesford-district-council-extends-public-consultation-on-stansted-airport-expansion-1-5630324

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See earlier:

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has served legal papers requiring the Government to take control of deciding the airport’s expansion plans

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has served legal papers requiring the Government to take control of deciding the latest Stansted Airport expansion proposals, or face proceedings in the High Court. This puts the Secretary of State for Transport on formal notice of a Judicial Review application if he fails to designate the airport’s planning application as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) within 14 days. Such a designation would mean the application would be considered nationally (a longer, more detailed, more effective process) rather than by the local planning authority, Uttlesford District Council (UDC). The application for expansion at Stansted was submitted by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) on behalf of the airport last February. If approved it would mean a 44% increase in flights and a 66% increase in passengers compared to 2017 levels. From the outset, SSE fiercely opposed the attempt to rush through the application and has argued that the scale of the application – the threshold is 10 million more annual passengers – meant that it had to be determined nationally rather than by the local Council. Stansted is trying to put the increase at 8million (35m to 43m) to avoid the NSIP process.

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Uttlesford District Council to delay decision on Stansted’s expansion application – details needed on noise, air pollution & surface access

Plans to increase the number of passengers Stansted Airport handles, along with other infrastructure, have been delayed after Uttlesford District Council (UDC) asked for more information.  Stansted’s application to expand the number of passengers allowed per year from 35 million to 43 million was due to be heard by UDC on July 18th.  But it is unlikely to be heard before at least one more consultation and one more public meeting.  A spokesperson from the council said: “The council has been examining the robustness of the evidence supplied within the application, particularly in relation to surface access, noise and air quality.  Ongoing discussions are taking place with relevant stakeholders including Highways England, Essex and Hertfordshire County Councils, Natural England and engaged consultants, and further work is being undertaken.”  Additional information is needed from the airport to ensure that the Planning Committee has all it needs in order to make an informed decision on the application.  UDC has also announced that the Planning Performance Agreement (PPA), an agreement that fast tracks the application in return for monetary payments to UDC’s planning officers to cover the costs of processing the applications, will be re-negotiated.

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