Southend Airport expansion gets go-ahead from Government

19.3.2010   (BBC)

Minister gives Southend airport the go-ahead

The government has approved plans for a runway extension at Southend Airport
in Essex.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government John Denham claimed the
right to a final say on the extension earlier this year.

He could have called for a public inquiry on the decision made by Southend Borough
Council planners.

But he has now told the council he is happy for the council to progress with
the plans.

Anna Waite, executive councillor for planning and transport, said: “I am extremely
pleased the Secretary of State has vindicated the careful consideration given
to this application by the development control committee.

“It took a great deal of time and effort to produce the balanced report presented
to the committee which reflected the views expressed by the various interested

“The airport expansion will bring not only travel opportunities but much needed

Opponents are concerned about a rise in passenger numbers to 2m a year.

Denis Walker, from the campaign group Stop Airport Extension Now, had previously said any expansion will have an adverse impact on the Southend

“There will be a lot more noise with more planes flying and more congestion and
pollution on the A127 which is the only main road in to the town.”



see also

Southend Airport expansion gets go-ahead from Government

19.3.2010   (Southend Echo)

By John Geoghegan

THE EXPANSION of Southend Airport has got the go-ahead from the Secretary of State.

The extension of the runway to allow for 2 million passengers to use the aiport
has been given approval by John Denham, the Secretary of State for Communities
and Local Government.

It had been called in by the Government days before Southend Council’s development
control committee approved the plans in January.

Anna Waite, planning councillor, was overjoyed when she found out the news this morning.

She said: “It’s absolutely brilliant.

“It’s fantastic news for the town.

“This will make us one of the best seaside towns in the country.”




 Echo     19.3.2010

Airport station is taking shape

THIS picture shows the latest progress on the new Southend Airport railway station, due to open in the summer.

Work is well under way on the £12million station, on the airport’s eastern boundary.
One of the steel frames for the new building has been put up, complete with stairwell,
while another frame with stairs is due to be built on the other side shortly.

At the end of the month, a bridge will be lifted into place over the line, connecting
the two frames.

The station, which is being paid for by airport owners the Stobart Group, is being built between Rochford and Prittlewell on the Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria line.

Airport managing director Alastair Welch said: "Construction work is progressing at pace, helped by the improvement in
the weather.

"The station frames will be completed in late March in time for a big lift, scheduled
for March 27 and 28, when the bridge will be installed. It’s great to see a station
which has been talked about for 50 years finally taking shape."

Mr Welch said work was also underway on the new control tower. Construction of
the £3million tower begins later this month and it is expected to open later in
the year.

Mr Welch added work on the airport hotel is subject to the runway extension going
ahead, which would affect the plans.

The decision on the runway has been called in by Secretary of State John Denham,
who will decide if the plans need to go to a public inquiry.

Mr Welch added there would be progress on a new passenger terminal for the airport
after consent for the runway is granted. The hotel then could open in early 2011,
and the terminal later that year.

Comment from a Southend resident:

I had an uneasy feeling that as Southend is one of the Olympic venues the planning
would go unopposed by central Government. Short sightedness by the Secretary of
State however is no reason for us to "throw in the towel" though. We need to raise
the profile of this folly and  make the challenge.


The truth is that we have been badly let down by our conservative council because
they didn’t have the  XXXX to negotiate a strict deal that checked and rejected
the need for the runway extension and put any controls and guarantees on Stobart
to deliver the new local jobs they promise.  



The  "more new jobs" issue has been pushed by the airport, but the idea that the
airport expanison  will create new jobs is complete  XXXX so far!     In the Thames
Gateway report on GOEast’s website it states quite clearly that RAL’s projection
(they were the owners at the time) was that during the construction phase of the
project i.e. the building of the new station, control tower and passenger terminal
 that there "would be a significant number of new jobs created as a result". So
far that is not the case because Stobart have placed the construction of the station
within their own company group (Stobart Rail formerly WA Developments) and placed
the control tower build with a Romford based engineering company.   Few  if any
new jobs have been created.   Southend residents should be sure  to keep a watch
on exactly how Stobart develop the project because so far the only winners are
the developer and its own group of companies.



Stobart has run rings around this council and getting anything they need from
them, the way to make them pay is by getting them out of power. Think how you
vote and who you vote for..