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Plane a minute heading for region: claim

PUBLISHED: 16:17 15 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 March 2010

ONE plane every minute will clog up flight paths over East Anglia if the Government goes ahead with plans for major airport expansion, campaigners have warned.

ONE plane every minute will clog up flight paths over East Anglia if the Government goes ahead with plans for major airport expansion, campaigners have warned.

The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) said more than 335,000 people in the region could be "seriously affected" by noise within 30 years, covering an area of 478 square miles.

It warned the expansion of Stansted Airport with three new runways could see East Anglia hit with the "triple whammy" of new holding stacks, a new flight path and greater noise from road traffic – as well as increased air traffic.

Flights on established paths over the region could become so busy that one plane every minute would be seen – and heard – soaring above beauty spots such as Dedham Vale and the Stour Valley.

The CPRE has published maps to show the possible growth of air travel across the UK, which it says could shatter the tranquillity of the countryside forever and affect 600,000 people.

Its publication Flying to Distraction draws on research carried out by consultants TRL and maps out expected changes by 2030.

They include a new holding stack – where planes circle while awaiting clearance to land – near Chelmsford, a new flight path to an expanded Stansted Airport coming from the north and three of the four routes crossing the east coast increasing in the volume of flights.

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