Application for second Stansted runway expected next week

6.3.2008   (Guardian)

BAA is expected to open a new front in the battle over airport expansion next
week by lodging a formal planning application for a £2.7bn second runway at Stansted

It is understood that Britain’s largest airport operator is preparing to kick-start
a prolonged campaign for a new runway at the UK’s third largest airport as soon
as Tuesday 11th.   Uttlesford district council, the local authority charged with
processing the application, is expected to refer BAA’s plans to a public consultation
that could delay a final decision on the runway until 2010 at the earliest.

The Stansted application will arrive a fortnight after the closure of the public
consultation on a third runway at Heathrow airport.

The deadline for submissions was marked by high-profile interventions from green
activists, who hoisted banners from a British Airways jet at Heathrow and from
the roof of the Houses of Parliament.

Under government aviation policy, new runways at Heathrow and Stansted should
go ahead subject to planning permission and meeting noise and air pollution guidelines.

According to the initial second runway proposals, the number of passengers going
through Stansted will rise from 24 million a year to 68 million – the current limit at Heathrow – by 2030.

BAA would demolish 73 houses and 18 listed buildings as part of the project,
although its formal proposal is thought to have reduced the amount of houses under
threat.   The expanded airport is also expected to take up a further 486 hectares
of land in Essex.


A protest sign near Stansted airport. Photograph: Graham Turner

Sources close to the Stansted application stressed that the timetable could slip,
but it is understood that Uttlesford council officials expect a formal application
next week. The council has already referred BAA proposals to raise the passenger
cap at Stansted to a public inquiry.   If the expansion [not including a second runway]  is approved, the passenger cap at the airport will rise from 25 million people a year to 35 million.


Application for second Stansted runway expected next week