Second Stansted runway still looms large

THE spectre of a second runway at Stansted which would send thousands more planes a year over Suffolk may still loom large at the end of this year - even if the Labour government is ousted.

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SUFFOLK: The spectre of a second runway at Stansted which would send thousands more planes a year over Suffolk may still loom large at the end of this year - even if the Labour government is ousted.

If the Tories - who are firmly against the runway project - win the General Election the current plans will still be on the table waiting for a public inquiry and a decision.

Campaigners have pledged to fight on until the second runway at the airport is axed, but say it could be sometime yet.

Carol Barbone, campaign director for Stop Stansted Expansion, said: “Both opposition parties oppose as policy a second runway but if they were elected they could not force the withdrawal of the planning application, although they could put pressure on BAA.

“BAA has the right to have that application decided. Like many big companies, it is probably looking quite a way ahead - not the next government, but the one after that. If they have to sell Stansted, which I think is inevitable, then they would probably be in a position to get a better price for it if it has planning permission for a second runway.”

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Communities across parts of Suffolk are plagued by planes with the noise of jets ruining the county's tranquillity.

A second runway could allow Stansted to handle 68 million passengers a year.

Talks are taking place between BAA and the Competition Commission over the future ownership of the company's airports, and the public inquiry into the proposed runway is on hold until this is settled.

BAA said the need for a second runway will be decided at the inquiry “based on the facts and strengths of evidence”.

Is the noise from passenger planes getting on your nerves? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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