Stansted inquiry restarts today

INTOLERABLE noise from jet planes flying over Suffolk will be the key topic today as the public inquiry into the proposed expansion of Stansted airport restarts.

INTOLERABLE noise from jet planes flying over Suffolk will be the key topic today as the public inquiry into the proposed expansion of Stansted airport restarts.

The inquiry has had a break over the summer but re-opens today with two sessions at Sudbury Town Hall - the first time it has been held away from the airport.

It will be an opportunity for the Dedham Vale Society, Colne Stour Society, Essex Wildlife Trust, and Stour and Orwell Society to give their views over the impact increased air traffic is having over Suffolk.

Also giving evidence will be the South Suffolk Air Traffic Action Group (SSATAG).

Chairman Alan Line said: “We shall be highlighting the problem of commercial jet aircraft noise that is now affecting most of Suffolk and east Essex caused by the present operation at Stansted.

“This has resulted since 2004 in 250 to 300 low flying aircraft a day destroying the tranquillity of rural Suffolk.

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“Stansted's plans will increase these figures by at least double if allowed to expand.

“The present noise is affecting thousands of people now, such that there is often a daily background of jet engines where there were none before.

“Any increase will affect many more especially as there are plans to re-organise the airspace over Suffolk to cope with increased flights such that south Norfolk and Cambridgeshire will be also be directly affected.

“No one can escape by moving within the region because the noise will become so widespread and can arrive over head at the stroke of a National Air Traffic Services memo. There is no public appeal process to dispute such decisions, even our MPs are powerless.”

The inquiry is examining proposals to use the Essex airport's runway to its maximum capacity - an extra ten million passengers a year on around 75,000 flights.

The Evening Star's No More Stansted campaign agrees with and supports the airport at its current flight and passenger limits - but is against expansion which will have an intolerable impact on the quality of life of people in Suffolk, possibly in the long-term doubling the amount of planes flying over the county.

The inquiry is expected to be complete by early October, with a decision announced sometime next year.

Do you think there are too many planes going over Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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