Stansted expansion plans blocked by district council
Plans to increase the number of passengers travelling through Stansted Airport have been refused by Uttlesford District Council.
Airport operator Manchester Airports Group had wanted to hike passenger numbers from 35 million to 43 million a year, but the local authority’s planning committee went against the advice of their officers and rejected the proposal, which would have resulted in an extra 200 flights a day.
Ten voted against it and two abstained.
The plans had been backed by the committee in November last year, but the full council chose subsequently to re-examine the proposals in light of UK Carbon Net Zero 2050 legislation.
May’s local elections were critical to the change of heart at the local authority, Residents for Uttlesford taking control of the council from the Conservatives as they won 26 of the 39 seats.
John Lodge, council leader, said: “Expanding Stansted up to the size of Gatwick is unnecessary as it can continue to be a major employer and contributor to the regional economy without this expansion.”
Peter Sanders, chairman of Stop Stansted Expansion, was understandably delighted with the decision: “I would firstly like to express appreciation and gratitude to the Uttlesford councillors on the planning committee not only for reaching this decision today but also for the very thorough and professional manner in which they have dealt with this planning application.
“I believe that I speak not only for Stop Stansted Expansion in this regard but for almost the entire local community.
“MAG has always insisted that this planning application must be dealt with locally by UDC rather than nationally.
“The fact that MAG has not obtained the result that it wanted from UDC should not mean that MAG can now simply reverse its position and insist on its application being dealt with at national level. MAG chose the playing field and it should therefore respect the result.”
A MAG spokesman said: “From the outset, we have listened to local communities to put forward an application that delivers the benefits of growth and a comprehensive package of mitigation measures to benefit local communities.”
He added that the group would consider the “comments made by the planning committee before deciding our next steps”.