Airport campaigners raise concerns

CAMPAIGNERS battling expansion at Stansted Airport have put their concerns to a public inquiry.The Evening Star has launched a campaign against further expansion, because an increase in flights over the county would have an intolerable impact on the quality of life of people in Suffolk.

CAMPAIGNERS battling expansion at Stansted Airport have put their concerns to a public inquiry.

The Evening Star has launched a campaign against further expansion, because an increase in flights over the county would have an intolerable impact on the quality of life of people in Suffolk.

People set to be effected by expansion are fighting development of the airport claiming it will ruin the tranquillity of rural areas - and threatening the quality of life of people who live under flightpaths.

Lady Suzanne Walker, of the Campaign to Protect Rural Essex, and John Drake from CPREssex and the Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) group, put forward the points to the public inquiry into whether BAA should be allowed to increase the number of passengers at the airport by ten million a year.

Mr Drake said: “Tranquillity is not just peace and quiet.

“It is the quality of calm experienced in the countryside where it is possible to be free from disturbance and where there are few, if any, man-made features or intrusions.

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“Tranquillity can therefore be seen to be a public good and an indicator of environmental quality.

“The Campaign to Protection of Rural England, working with Northumbria University has been pioneering 'tranquillity evaluation' to enable quantification of tranquillity. On the basis of this work, airport development can be shown to have a particularly negative impact upon tranquillity, especially for an airport in a rural setting.

“CPRE's tranquillity maps illustrate the comparatively limited areas of true tranquillity now left in Essex, Hertfordshire and South Suffolk.”

BAA believes there will be overwhelming economic benefits to the region from increasing use of the runway as well as the project being in line with government policy on the future of air travel.

Campaigners say the expansion of Stansted - allowing its current runway to be used to its maximum capacity - will further damage the peacefulness of parts of Suffolk, as well as Essex and Hertfordshire.

It will also cause further damage to the landscape around the airport.

The Evening Star is calling for a full review of pollution being caused by the jets - both the impact on ozone layer and on the environment at ground level - and of the increasing noise being caused by the aircraft 24/7.

n. Are you for or against expansion of Stansted Airport? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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