Protesters scorn over Stansted expansion

PROTESTERS today poured scorn on proposals to expand Stansted airport - a project which would send tens of thousands more jets over Suffolk.They told a government inspector there was no justification for increasing the capacity of the airport's runway, especially with the extra noise and harm to the environment this would bring.

PROTESTERS today poured scorn on proposals to expand Stansted airport - a project which would send tens of thousands more jets over Suffolk.

They told a government inspector there was no justification for increasing the capacity of the airport's runway, especially with the extra noise and harm to the environment this would bring.

Airport owners BAA want to increase the 25 million passengers handled each year - probably by another ten million - on up to 264,000 flights.

The Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) group today began giving its evidence to the public inquiry looking into the issue.


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Counsel for the campaign group, Paul Stinchcombe said there was not a shred of evidence of the alleged economic benefits it was claimed expansion of the airport would bring.

“Any assertion that the government white paper does settle the economic case in favour of the maximum use of the existing runway would be unduly prescriptive and wrongfully encroach on your proper role at this inquiry,” Mr Stinchcombe told the inspector, Alan Boyland.

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He accused BAA of brandishing the Air Transport White Paper as justification for the environmental impacts of its expansion and criticised the airport operator for trying to avoid examination of the economic arguments.

He said the company was also not giving the full picture of the proposed expansion of the airport.

“On BAA's own evidence, the inquiry can be sure that there will be a further application, either for a second runway or for the lifting of the 35 million passengers per annum cap,” said Mr Stinchcombe.

“By failing to include all of the forthcoming development within the Environmental Statement, BAA has failed to inform the inquiry of all of the cumulative effects of the proposed development.”

Government support for expansion at Stansted was not sufficient justification for pressing ahead with expansion “at any cost”, given the impact which the proposals would have, he said.

Do you think tens of thousands more jets should be sent over Suffolk? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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