Stansted Airport Public Inquiry into expansion plans – started 12th January
After over 3 years of fierce resistance by the local community, the proposed expansion of Stansted Airport will be decided by a Public Inquiry which opens on Tuesday 12th January. The outcome will determine whether Uttlesford, East Herts, and other surrounding districts will continue to consist of largely rural communities or will, in time, become further blighted and urbanised in the same way as large areas around Gatwick and Heathrow airports. Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) considers it entirely irrational, and potentially dangerous, for the Government’s Planning Inspectorate to insist that the Public Inquiry must start at the height of the Covid pandemic. Stansted already has permission for 35 million passengers and its passenger throughput peaked at 28 million in 2018, with passenger numbers in decline since mid-2019, long before the pandemic. In 2020, Stansted handled just 7 million passengers and has forecast that it will take years to return to pre-pandemic levels. Plainly, there is no urgency to increase the current planning cap.
STANSTED AIRPORT PUBLIC INQUIRY – A Fight for our Future
PRESS RELEASE – 11 JANUARY 2021
After more than three years of fierce resistance by the local community, the proposed expansion of Stansted Airport will be decided by a Public Inquiry which opens tomorrow [Tuesday 12 January]. The outcome will determine whether Uttlesford, East Herts, and other surrounding districts will continue to consist of largely rural communities or will, in time, become further blighted and urbanised in the same way as large areas around Gatwick and Heathrow airports.
SSE considers it entirely irrational, and potentially dangerous, for the Government’s Planning Inspectorate to insist that the Public Inquiry must start at the height of a pandemic. Stansted already has permission for 35 million passengers and its passenger throughput peaked at 28 million in 2018, with passenger numbers in decline since mid-2019, long before the pandemic. In 2020, Stansted handled just 7 million passengers and has forecast that it will take years to return to pre-pandemic levels. Plainly, there is no urgency to increase the current planning cap.
If approved, Stansted would be permitted to expand to a similar size and scale to Gatwick, which is why Stop Stansted Expansion (‘SSE’) has fought these expansion proposals, tooth and nail, since they were first announced in June 2017 by the owners of Stansted Airport, the Manchester Airports Group (MAG). At that time MAG fully expected Uttlesford District Council (‘UDC’) to approve its proposals within three months.
However, UDC officials and MAG underestimated the strength of local opposition, spearheaded by SSE. Three months has become three years and there is now, finally, an opportunity for the local community to make a stand. We all have a moral obligation to call a halt to ever-increasing aviation emissions, for the sake of future generations as well as for the sake of all other species with whom we share this planet, and SSE will do its utmost to fight for these local and wider environmental principles at the forthcoming Inquiry.
SSE cannot however hide its disappointment that UDC officials have now, behind the scenes, withdrawn most of their objections to MAG’s expansion plans for Stansted, subject to a few hollow conditions.
SSE Chairman Peter Sanders commented: “In view of the timing of this Public Inquiry, at the height of a pandemic, SSE is participating under duress, but we have powerful, well-researched evidence to put before the Inquiry and we will do just that, regardless of UDC’s position and regardless of the difficulties.”
- The Public Inquiry will normally sit each week from Tuesday to Friday, starting at 10am. The full programme is at http://www.hwa.uk.com/site/wp-
content/uploads/2020/10/ Inquiry-programme-23-12-20-. pdf. The Inquiry will be conducted entirely on-line and you can follow proceedings online via live streaming at http://stream-uk.venue-av.com/ e/sai/live_stream . There is also a catch-up facility.
- For more information, check out the SSE website at https://stopstanstedexpansion.
com/ or go to https://programmeofficers.co. uk/ssairport/.
FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENT
- Brian Ross, SSE Deputy Chairman: 01279 814961; (M) 07850 937143 firstname.lastname@example.org
- SSE Campaign Office: 01279 870558; email@example.com
Stansted airport inquiry to start in the midst of the Covid pandemic
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has described the decision to schedule a January start for the Public Inquiry into further expansion at Stansted Airport as “dangerous, unwise and unnecessary” in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, warning that it could jeopardise community involvement in the hearings. The public inquiry is being held following an appeal by Stansted’s owners, Manchester Airports Group (MAG) against the refusal by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to allow expansion of the airport to an annual throughput of 43 million passengers, compared to 28 million last year. The refusal, by the UDC Planning Committee, was by a resounding margin of 10 votes to nil. SSE believes that a three-month deferral would be a safer and more sensible way forward, not least given the major impacts which the pandemic is having on the aviation industry. Stansted will handle fewer than 9 million passengers this year, one third of last year’s total. Experts say it will take five years before passenger numbers return to 2019 levels – if it ever does. Despite strong objections from SSE, the start date has been set for 12 January 2021. It is planned to be an in-person event, with attendant Covid infection risks, and SSE says it should be done by using video technology, but this has limitations on effective public participation and access.
SSE RENEWS CALL FOR STANSTED AIRPORT TO ACCEPT PLANNING REFUSAL
STOP STANSTED EXPANSION
PRESS RELEASE – 29th JULY 2020
In an email sent on 28th July, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) congratulated Steve Griffiths on his appointment as Managing Director of Stansted Airport, but urged him to listen to the local community and to reconsider the Airport’s proposed appeal against the unanimous rejection of its planning application by Uttlesford District Council.
In the email SSE’s Chairman, Peter Sanders, said an appeal would be costly and time-consuming for all parties at a time when they are hard pressed by other important issues.
MAG to appeal council’s refusal of Stansted expansion proposals – SSE says this is “CALLOUS, CYNICAL AND POINTLESS”
The Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has decided to appeal against the refusal by Uttlesford District Council of the expansion plans of Stansted airport. Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) Chairman, Peter Sanders, said this was “callous, cynical and pointless” and prolongs uncertainty. MAG has been seeking an increase in the permitted number of flights using Stansted, up from the present limit of 35 mppa to 43mppa. Stansted’s actual throughput in 2019 was 28 mppa and will be very significantly lower in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19. Uttlesford District Council (UDC) first received MAG’s expansion proposals for Stansted in June 2017 and spent more than two and a half years considering the issues prior to 24 January 2020 when its (cross-party) Planning Committee voted by 10 votes to zero to refuse the application. MAG itself had said it wanted the application to be determined locally rather than nationally, and that UDC was the “competent and appropriate authority” to deal with its application. But now it is appealing, for the decision to go to a Public Inquiry, that would be costly for UDC at a time when finances are struggling.