Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 2°C


Reaction to what campaigners say was an ‘at times farcical’ seven-hour meeting on Stansted’s future

PUBLISHED: 15:10 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:10 15 November 2018

Stansted's terminal building Picture: STANSTED

Stansted's terminal building Picture: STANSTED


The meeting to decide whether to allow Stansted to boost its passenger capacity by 8m a year finally came to a nail-biting finish last night, but has left a bitter taste in the mouths of some of those present.

Bruce Bamber, left, Brian Ross and Geoff Gardner from Stop Stansted Expansion at the meeting at Uttlesford District Council hearing opposition to plans to expand Stansted Airport.Bruce Bamber, left, Brian Ross and Geoff Gardner from Stop Stansted Expansion at the meeting at Uttlesford District Council hearing opposition to plans to expand Stansted Airport.

The campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) expressed dismay and disappointment that Uttlesford District Council (UDC) Planning Committee granted approval for Stansted Airport’s planning application to grow to an annual throughput of 43 million passengers per annum, and accused some councillors of ‘not having done their homework.’

The UDC Planning Committee, comprising ten elected Uttlesford councillors, split right down the middle with five in favour of the application - including the Planning Committee Chairman - and five against.

Where there is a split vote, the Council rulebook gives the Chairman an additional vote, and the decision was eventually made in favour of Stansted Airport’s plans.

“If this approval is allowed to stand, it would mean that Stansted could increase its flights by 44% and its passenger throughput by 66% compared to last year’s levels,” a spokesperson for the campaign group explained.

“The Planning Committee decision followed an all-day meeting which was at times farcical.

“SSE will now submit further representations to the Secretary of State asking him to call in the application. These further representations will include additional reasons for this, including evidence relating to the nature and conduct of yesterday’s meeting, for which there is a complete audio recording.”

SSE will also be discussing possible next steps with its legal advisers, depending to some extent on the outcome of the High Court challenge SSE is already pursuing in relation to the application.

SSE Deputy Chairman Brian Ross commented: “Of course we are disappointed to lose the argument yesterday in such a shameful fashion, with the outcome ultimately resting on the Chairman’s casting vote. It was especially galling when most of the councillors who voted in favour of approval made very little attempt to engage in the proceedings and showed little evidence of having done their homework. This was not Uttlesford District Council’s finest hour.

“Fortunately this is not the end of the road so we would advise Stansted Airport not to start popping the champagne corks just yet.”

But for some people in the local business community, the outcome was the cause for celebration.

Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, said “We are delighted that the planning committee saw sense and approved this application. Stansted is a major asset to not just Essex but also the wider UK economy and this will be enhanced as the airport develops more routes in the future. It will help secure existing jobs at the airport but also lead to the creation of new ones.”

Stansted’s own chief executive Ken O’Toole said that the decision offers London Stansted and its airline partners “the long-term clarity we need to make further investment decisions at the airport.” “But also, importantly, it provides the local community with the assurance that our future growth will be delivered in a measured and sustainable way,” he added.

“The combination of the strong economic health of our catchment, our available runway capacity, the £600 million investment we are making in our facilities and the continuing desire of local residents to travel by air by London Stansted, will collectively ensure that the airport has a bright future.”

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

A man has been fined almost £300 for taking his hands off the wheel to make a two fingered gesture at a speed camera in Suffolk.

With talented well-known stars, unscripted fits of laughter and something for everyone to enjoy - The Regent have pulled off another unforgettable Christmas pantomime.

Beyond the Christmas tree, decorations and pudding, do you have any special customs unique to your family? Here’s a look at some weird and wonderful festive traditions.

Free iCards for Ipswich youngsters last summer cost £100,000 it has emerged, as latest figures have revealed the extent of take up.

Drivers are warned of possible treacherous road conditions this evening as “freezing rain” could turn roads icy.

Within hours of opening a new, exciting gadget on Christmas Day some of us have already broken them.

Ipswich foodbank’s army of volunteers have been hard at work, packing and wrapping thousands of Christmas food parcels for families in need - but founder Maureen Reynel says they need even more help as demand for the service soars.

A vegan activist and mum of three is preparing for her first Christmas as a vegan and explains why she won’t give in to her meat-eating friends.

A Melton mum who was crowned the World’s Strongest Woman and a look at 13 new restaurants and bars in Ipswich is on our don’t miss list. Make sure you catch up with our top stories.

A Suffolk birdwatching group is offering people the chance to have something to crow about – by taking part in a county-wide rook survey.

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Most read

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24