Stansted inquiry adjourns for summer

A PUBLIC inquiry into proposals to increase the capacity of Stansted airport and allow thousands more jets to fly over Suffolk has been adjourned for a summer break.

A PUBLIC inquiry into proposals to increase the capacity of Stansted airport and allow thousands more jets to fly over Suffolk has been adjourned for a summer break.

But concern over the expansion of the airport goes on - with campaigners worried that new government fast-track planning laws will make it even easier for the airport to get a second runway.

The current proposals could eventually mean as many as 75,000 more passenger and cargo flights, handling another ten million passengers, on the existing runway.

The public inquiry has so far heard evidence from airport owners BAA and the Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) protest group.


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It is now in recess but will resume on September 4 at Sudbury Town Hall to hear more objections from parish councils, South Suffolk Air Traffic Action Group, other interested bodies, and residents.

The Evening Star's No More Stansted campaign is seeking to keep flights to their current limits because expansion of the airport will have an intolerable impact on the quality of life of people in Suffolk.

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In some places the sound of the jets is even now a near constant drone as three or even four planes can be seen in the sky at once with the sound of one merging into the arrival of the next, ruining the county's peaceful and tranquil nature.

During the summer, opponents of Stansted's expansion are turning their attention to the government's planning White Paper which is set to remove the public's right to challenge major projects at public inquiries.

This would mean no inquiry into the second runway at Stansted if it was deemed by ministers to be national public policy.

Friends of the Earth planning advisor Hugh Ellis said: “The planning White Paper will give the green light to massive new developments while stripping away opportunities for affected communities or the wider public to input on the decisions.

“This is policy making at its worse - it will destroy local communities and exacerbate climate change. The government must rethink its proposals and introduce a planning system that allows people a say on decisions that affect them.”

The Planning Disaster Coalition was deeply concerned over the abolition of public inquiries and said the changes will allow developers to push through major projects that could have a catastrophic impact on communities, the countryside and the wider environment.

Ministers though say the new planning commission would take into account the potential local impact of large projects, such as on air quality, noise and traffic problems, bring together experts to decide policy.

Are you concerned at the increasing drone of jet planes in Suffolk's skies? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

CAMPAIGN FILE

n. Our No More Stansted campaign agrees with and supports Stansted Airport at its current flight and passenger limits.

n. But the campaign is against expansion of the airport which will have an intolerable impact on the quality of life of people in Suffolk.

n. It is against proposals being discussed currently at a public inquiry to increase the number of passengers by ten million a year or between 23,000 and 75,000 extra flights.

n. It is against the building of a second runway which would more than double the current flights - another 300,000 a year.

n. The campaign wants a full review of the pollution being caused by the jets - both the impact on the ozone layer and also on the environment at ground level - and of the increasing noise being caused by the aircraft 24/7.

n. We want assurances that planes will not be allowed to fly lower than the present lowest levels across Suffolk.

n. There must also be a full review of the current flightpaths to cut the noise afflicting communities and to look at the possibility of moving flight corridors on a regular basis so that the same communities do not suffer noise nuisance incessantly.

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