Stansted expansion bid turned down

STANSTED Airport's bid to increase flight numbers is grounded today because of fears it would enhance climate change. The airport's owner BAA plans to appeal after a council blocked plans to extend its runway in order to increase plane movements from around 220,000 to more than 260,000 per year.

STANSTED Airport's bid to increase flight numbers is grounded today because of fears it would enhance climate change.

The airport's owner BAA plans to appeal after a council blocked plans to extend its runway in order to increase plane movements from around 220,000 to more than 260,000 per year.

Uttlesford District Council rejected a planning application yesterday, citing climate change as one of a number of reasons for refusal.

Although business leaders across Suffolk and Essex will be disappointed at the decision, environmental campaigners hailed the decision as a benchmark, saying it was the first time climate change had been listed as a reason for refusing a planning application.


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“We are delighted by this local authority's decision,” said a spokesman for Friends of the Earth.

“This is the first planning application where climate change has been given for a reason for refusal.

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“I think increasingly people are waking up to the threat of climate change and we need people to start taking action.

“This decision is a fantastic sign that the public realises the need to do something.”

People living in villages around the airport were celebrating the council's decision and urged BAA to abide by it.

But Terry Morgan, Stansted's managing director, said the airport would appeal and seek to have the issue decided by a Government inspector at a planning inquiry.

He said the airport also still intended to push ahead with plans to build a second runway at Stansted - and a planning application would be made next year.

Scores of villagers packed into a council meeting in Saffron Walden, to hear councillors unanimously reject the planning application.

Opponents to the expansion of Stansted have included celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who owns a home in the area.

Carol Barbone, campaign director of Stop Stansted Expansion, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the decision.

“We believe citing the reason of climate change is a breakthrough and very important. And we call on BAA to respect the local community's views.

“If they decide to appeal they should know that we will fight expansion plans to the bitter end.”

Mr Morgan said he was disappointed by the council's decision because the evidence showed that millions of people wanted to fly.

“We are going to appeal against the decision and will take our case to a public inquiry,” he said.

“No one should be in any doubt that we remain convinced of the strength of our case.”

N What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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