Web users say no to airport expansion

SURFERS have voted with their mice - and given an overwhelming thumbs down to proposals to expand Stansted airport and send thousands more jet planes over Suffolk.

SURFERS have voted with their mice - and given an overwhelming thumbs down to proposals to expand Stansted airport and send thousands more jet planes over Suffolk.

In an exclusive on-line poll, The Evening Star asked web readers, “Should Stansted airport be allowed to go ahead with its planned expansion?”

More than 61 per cent of those taking part in the poll backed the Star's Air Fair campaign and said no, with 38pc agreeing airport owner BAA's proposals. A total of 1,457 people took part.

Campaigners have been encouraged by the result and say it shows how concerned the public is about the increase in flying with more people noticing the impact it has on their lives and communities.


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Carol Barbone, campaign director for Stop Stansted Expansion, said: “I think this clearly reflects the overwhelming degree of hostility to plans for a second runway with feeling growing against the increased overflying in the area.”

Government has given Stansted permission to handle ten million extra passengers a year - a 40pc increase - on 23,000 extra flights.

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Many of those extra airliners will come across Suffolk en route to or from the airport.

But the expansion will not stop there.

A second runway will double to size of the airport, making it bigger than Heathrow today and bigger than any other airport in Europe currently, sending tens of thousands more planes every day across Suffolk's towns, villages and peaceful countryside.

A public inquiry into the proposal is set to start in April.

Lead inspector Andrew Phillipson wants to conclude the inquiry in six months by running concurrent sessions examining different subjects in different rooms.

SSE though says parallel sessions would be “wholly unfair” to the community while giving an enormous advantage to BAA, whose team of five barristers could handle such twin-track arrangements easily.

Mr Phillipson has now agreed to re-consider the timetable and said parallel sessions had been “booted into touch”.

Mrs Barbone said: “We very much hope the inspector will take on board the many concerns expressed about any attempt to steamroller the inquiry process.

“There is not much more we can say until we see his revised proposals.”

Government says expansion is needed because there is a shortage of run-way space in the south-east.

Are you worried that jet plane noise will get worse if Stansted expands? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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