New fears over Suffolk air traffic

24.9.2008   (East Anglian Daily Times)

CAMPAIGNERS fighting a second runway at Stansted Airport have claimed closer
scrutiny of the plan reveals there could be a major impact on the peaceful Suffolk

The county’s tranquility would be "severely" shattered and climate change problems
would be significantly heightened by the new airstrip, it was alleged last night.

Campaigners and the Suffolk Preservation Society (SPS) have now joined forces
to call for the plans to be shelved ahead of Friday’s deadline for representations
on the planning application.

The SPS claimed that expanding London’s third airport had "ramifications across
the whole of the east of England" and called on airport bosses to utilise all
existing capacity before considering further expansion.

Richard Ward, SPS director, said: "Efficient use of the site would be a sustainable
way forward and would help prevent even more aircraft noise from further eroding
Suffolk’s quiet open spaces.

"The society is also concerned that environmental issues such as climate change
have been seemingly ignored in this application."

The society has now written to planning chiefs at Uttlesford District Council
claiming residents in the county were already suffering "considerable noise disturbance"
and asking why aircraft stacking could not be carried out over the sea instead
of over peaceful Suffolk countryside.

And the Stop Stansted Expansion group claimed closer inspection of an environmental
statement released by BAA revealed the true extent of air movement over the county
in the coming years.

The organisation claimed that information "buried deep" in BAA documents revealed
that stacking areas would remain the same as those recently outlined by the National
Air Traffic Services – despite the vast increase in flight movements if the expansion
was passed.

People in the Lavenham and Newmarket areas particularly have voiced concerns
about the potential noise from aircraft stacking.

SSE campaign director Carol Barbone said: "Everyone concerned about noise and
tranquillity issues should recognise the major threat that would be posed by a
second runway at Stansted with some half a million flights a year using the airport.
Such intensity of overflying would radically change the character of the region."

Though a planning application has now been officially submitted to Uttlesford
District Council by airport operator BAA, a public inquiry will determine the
plans in April next year.

BAA declined to comment.

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