Southend residents urged to respond to the JAAP consultation that encourages expansion of the airport
Southend and Rochford Councils are currently conducting a JAAP (Joint Area Action Plan) public consultation on Southend airport and its environs. The consultation has now been extended to 26th April. The JAAP refers to a range of policies that support further expansion at the airport. It is important that local people living in the vicinity of the airport respond, as they will be affected by proposed changes. The JAAP, once adopted, will form part of the Development Plan for Rochford District and Southend-on-Sea Borough. The council documents and process are not very clear, so local group SAEN (Stop Airport Expansion and Noise) are advising residents how to respond. Some of the issues in the JAAP are that Southend Airport is surrounded on all sides by large numbers of houses, and local councils have done nothing to limit or reduce the number of people who suffer from aircraft noise. Safety issues associated with the public safety zones have also been identified. The claim that expansion at the airport is creating jobs is also challenged. In the first year of operation it has become clear that the overwhelming majority of passengers are UK citizens who are travelling abroad, not foreign tourists attracted to the Southend area. The most popular destination offered by easyJet is Amsterdam, which is attracting entirely new passengers, sucking ever more money out of the Essex/London economy. The job creation claims are not credible and have been exposed as such.
SAEN is also undertaking a mass leaflet campaign to ensure that everyone entitled to claim compensation for loss of value of property does so.
8th February 2013 (Rochford Council website)
Residents, existing businesses and all other interested parties are being urged to give their views on future proposals for the key development area around London Southend Airport. They are invited to respond to the consultation on the London Southend Airport & Environs Joint Area Action Plan (JAAP) being prepared by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Rochford District Council.
The consultation opened Monday 25th February, and will run until Wednesday 10th April. It seeks views on planning policies and proposals covering the next 15 years. These proposals were drawn up, taking into account the responses from the previous JAAP consultation.
The JAAP includes policies for developing the airport, two new business parks and environment enhancements, as well as transport improvements.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Planning Councillor Jonathan Garston said: “This is an excellent opportunity for people to give their opinions on proposals which will shape the area around London Southend Airport for the next 15 years. “We know that earlier JAAP consultations created a great deal of interest, so we very much hope residents will keep up the momentum and continue to share their views. “The JAAP is vital to help us move forward to secure private investment and future employment for our Town.”
Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation, Councillor Keith Hudson, added: “This consultation is an opportunity for residents in both Rochford and Southend to have their say on plans that will create a prosperous future for generations to come. “The regeneration of London Southend Airport itself has created massive employment opportunities and – by creating a hub of excellence around the Airport – up to 6,000 more jobs could be created including many apprenticeships. “I would urge as many people in both Rochford and Southend to come forward and give us their views, this is a hugely important plan, that may become a blueprint nationally for how to attract investment, jobs, wealth and opportunity to a region.”
To take part in the consultation, just complete the online form at www.southend.gov.uk/jaap or www.rochford.gov.uk, or call 01702 215000 for a hard copy which can be filled in and sent to Planning Policy Team, Rochford District Council at Council Offices, South Street, Rochford, SS4 1BW.
London Southend Airport and Environs JAAP – Submission
Area Action Plans are a style of planning document targeted at areas of significant change or conservation. The JAAP, once adopted, will form part of the Development Plan for Rochford District and Southend-on-Sea Borough.
The JAAP will provide the basis for coordinating the actions of a range of partners with an interest in London Southend Airport and its surrounding area, and establish planning policies until 2021. It will:
- Manage growth and change in the area by setting out development and design principles
- Ensure the protection of areas and places sensitive to change
- Direct investment and form the basis for regeneration in the area
- Be deliverable
Following consultation on earlier iterations of the Plan, and assessment of possible options, a ‘Submission’ version of the Plan has been produced. This is the version that the Councils propose to submit to the Secretary of State responsible for planning, who will appoint an Inspector to conduct an independent examination into whether the plan is ‘sound’ and legally compliant.
The Planning Inspectorate will conduct an examination into the ‘soundness’ and legal compliance of the JAAP. The examination will include consideration of the issues raised in the consultation.
Subject to the outcome of the examination, the Councils may then adopt the Plan and it will form part of the Development Plan for the area – meaning that planning decisions must be made in accordance with the Plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
Representations must be made by 5pm on 10th April 2013, and must be made using the Representation Form or via the online consultation system. Paper copies of the Representation Form can be obtained by calling 01702 215408.
Please note: As this is a formal consultation on a document the Councils proposes to submit to the Government for Examination, consultation representations will only be regarded as duly made if supplied on the official representation form or made directly via the online consultation system. Comments submitted will not be publicly visible online until after the consultation had ended.
The local airport group at Southend, SAEN (Stop Airport Expansion and Noise) are asking all local residents to respond to the consultation, by 5pm on 10th April 2013.
URGENT, this must be submitted and accepted by 5pm, 10th April 2013.
JAAP (Joint Area Action Plan) 2013
This is a very tight timescale as there is a large amount of data to read and digest. It seems that the councils have chosen to issue this JAAP for comment in the shortest timescale they can and with very little publicity. We are not suggesting this is illegal in any way. For such an important process that will have massive effects on the quality of life, for so many people, we think the residents may find this information below helpful.
Remember that the previous JAAP surveys showed an overwhelming opposition to the expansion of the airport, but it has gone ahead anyway. This may be your last chance to register your objections to this latest round of so called consultation.
Remember if it had not been for SAEN’s efforts, hundreds, if not thousands of home owners would not have known of their rights to compensation on the loss of the value of their property caused by the expansion of the airport activities. Don’t let this JAAP go unopposed.
We implore you to make your feelings known to the councils by completing the JAAP consultation survey NOW.
SAEN has produced a short leaflet giving residents in the vicinity of Southend airport in the areas included in the JAAP the information they need about the JAAP and related issues. There is also the proposals map. The leaflet is entitled:
and is available here.
Airports have “Compulsory Purchase” Powers
SAEN says: This may mean nothing but the fact that the term “compulsory purchase” now forms part of the planning act and various areas have been identified, we feel that you should be aware of possible future plans that could affect your property thus allowing you the chance to voice your opinion or take necessary steps to safeguard. We are concerned that your property falls within the identified JAAP consultation area and this alone may affect your property value. Would you purchase a property if you were aware that you could be forced to sell it? Advice from estate agents is that you would need to declare you were in a possible compulsory purchase area when selling a property. Any compulsory purchase areas may well be disclosed upon land searches
The SAEN controlled pages will be updated as we refine or obtain new information: –
The JAAP refers to a range of policies that support further expansion at Southend Airport. Here is a hyperlink to the Rochford council internet site which provides an introduction: –
This is the hyperlink to the page where you can submit your objection: – http://rochford.jdi-consult.net/jaap/
People need to register to make an objection.
There is a great deal of information in the JAAP and a couple of bits are inaccurate or out of date. Two of the maps in the paper version of the document are wrong. One shows an out of date map of the public safety area. Also the layout of the “policies” section, from page 23 onwards, is poor. It is at first sight difficult to tell which parts of the text relate to the various questions posed in the consultation.
So, to help you, I set out below a copy of an objection that the local SEEFoE group has submitted. You can draw information from this if you wish.
SAEN are suggesting that, if nothing else, people living near the airport respond along the following lines:
Southend Airport has more housing in its immediate vicinity than any other regional airport in the UK. It is therefore grossly misleading for the JAAP document to suggest that the local councils have done anything to limit or reduce the number of people who suffer from aircraft noise.
The councils have failed in their duty of care to the local population by doing everything in their power to increase flights and noise. The disgraceful decision to allow night flights poses a serious threat to the health of the people who now have to suffer absolute misery caused by the irresponsible and callous expansion of the airport.
The document is unsound, it is based upon a series of false assumptions, including the claim that it will create jobs and that the airport is in any way “sustainable”.
Operations at Southend Airport are sucking money out of the UK economy by encouraging ever larger numbers of people to take holidays abroad.
And it is impossible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by flying ever more aircraft. The first year of operations at the airport indicate that around 500 jobs have been created, of which around half were transferred from Stanstead. However an analysis provided by SEEFoE suggests that the number of tourists who travelled abroad exported around £300 million from the UK economy, which is equivalent to over 10,000 jobs lost to the Essex/London economy.
Worse still the councils have squandered public money on various facilities associated with the airport and the airport has stripped £millions out of the local economy by devaluing property near the airport and flight path.
The last JAAP process showed that around 80% of respondents did not want the high growth scenario for airport expansion and an opinion poll last year showed that 61% of local people opposed expansion.
The policy to expand the airport serves as an example of unsound, unsustainable, irresponsible development. The JAAP supports the precise opposite of “evidence based policy”. The local population oppose it and are suffering real misery as a result of the callous actions of the two councils.
Below are a few points from the JAAP Consultation: objection submitted by SEEFoE (South East Essex Friends of the Earth)
The full response by SEEFoE is at JAAP public consultation guidance. SEEFoE response April 2013
The JAAP is fundamentally flawed, irrational, many of the objectives are undeliverable and it contradicts three of the four key objectives in the Government’s Aviation Policy Framework.
Before going into detail on these points, it is important to stress that the local community is appalled that the original JAAP process and consultation was ignored, it was suspended when London Southend Airport (LSA) submitted its planning application and has only now been resurrected after the Airport has extended the runway, facilitating a massive expansion in operations.
The original JAAP process showed that the majority of people opposed the scale of expansion that had been proposed by the Councils and their views were completely ignored. More recently, this group conducted its own public opinion poll and found that 61% of people still oppose expansion of the airport.
Turning to the Aviation Policy Framework, it is irrational to the point of being perverse to suggest that the JAAP will make its contribution to ensuring that the aviation sector makes a contribution to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. It is impossible to expand operations at Southend Airport to the extent planned and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is fantasy to assume otherwise.
Southend Airport is surrounded on all sides by large numbers of houses, indeed it has more housing in its immediate vicinity than any other regional airport in the UK. It is therefore grossly misleading for the JAAP document to suggest that the local councils have done anything to limit or reduce the number of people who suffer from aircraft noise. The councils have failed in their duty of care to the local population by doing everything in their power to increase flights and therefore noise. The disgraceful decision to allow night flights poses a serious threat to the health of the people who now have to suffer absolute misery caused by this irresponsible and callous development.
The airport is responsible for its own Airport Consultation Committee and selects the members itself. This results in an entirely toothless organisation that does not represent the views of the local population. Indeed, the residents action committee – SAEN – has been refused membership of this committee. It is therefore impossible to suggest that LSA engages in a meaningful way with its local stakeholders.
Some key points from the SEEFoE response :
* Quality of life cannot be improved by subjecting people to more noise and pollution.
* Job creation claims are misleading because many jobs are simply being moved from another business park a few miles down the road
* Few employers likely to relocate next to an airport
* Airport takes substantial money and jobs out of the local economy both directly and through loss of property value
Claims made ……..are inaccurate, wilfully misleading and the policies outlined pose a serious threat to public health, the environment and will also suck millions of pounds of wealth out of the area. Thus far, the airport has only handled around 800,000 passengers per annum, but this is equivalent to a loss of £316 million (which equates to 12,640 jobs) lost from the Essex and London economy.
CAA guidelines are being breached on airport safety, posing an unwarranted threat to aircraft passengers and the population of the area.
The Local Authorities appear to be oblivious to this threat and are not even using up-to-date maps in section 5 of the JAAP.
The plan is unsound because there is no credible explanation as to how the number of jobs predicted will be created as a result of increasing the number of passengers at LSA to 2million.
In fact, this plan entails moving jobs from former industrial estates to new ones.
We explain why the thinking on job creation is flawed and point out that expanding aviation and greenhouse gas emissions dramatically increases the chances of flooding business and other property. Therefore, the plan is unsound.
Under “Airport Policies” on Page 35, it is noted that the JAAP supports in principle expansion to 2 million passengers. In the light of statements elsewhere in the JAAP, noting the importance that expansion must not be at the expense of the quality of life of residents, the JAAP should be amended to note that the two councils will work to reduce the scale of operations at the airport until those living close to the airport are satisfied that it no longer causes an unacceptable nuisance. This section of the JAAP should also note that if expanded operations cause a greater out-flow of tourist wealth than income, the two councils will work to reduce the scale of operations, shifting efforts to encouraging people to holiday at home – within the UK.
Policy LS1 is based upon a series of incorrect assumptions in the preceding sections on LSA, Introduction, General Principles and Airport Policies. The following points show where the JAAP is unsound:
1. False claims relating to employment creation
2. Incorrect assumptions regarding noise from aircraft
4. Compensation under 1973 Land Act
5. Annual Reports
The JAAP is irrational in assuming that aviation is sustainable: it is not. The JAAP should require reports annually on greenhouse gas emissions, the handling of contaminated effluent and on complaints relating to contamination of property and land around the airport. The JAAP should also include a policy to apply penalties against the airport if it offers services to destinations that could be reached by rail.
The Councils need a more effective strategy for tackling congestion caused by expanded airport operations. Suggestions made above.
We set out above the incorrect assumptions made regarding the PSZs and the unsound implications it has drawn on the scale of flights the airport will be able to handle in the future.
The assumptions made about the aircraft that will use the airport in the future are incorrect and need to be corrected
Work on a second terminal building was started by LSA without planning permission and no action has been taken by the local authorities. There is also an appalling lack of planning regarding the capacity of the sewage network surrounding the airport.
* Proposed Park & Ride has been abandoned
* We must not squander money on major new road construction/widening in the area as this will undermine the resources needed to adequately fund public transport
* Too little has been said about the specific facilities needed to encourage bus and rail travel.
We must not squander public money on major new road construction. This is futile and irrational. What is needed is to ensure that the available funds are invested in pubic transport, walking and cycling. Only this solution can ensure that congestion is reduced.