Uttlesford ‘relieved’ that Stansted is omitted from Airports Commission interim report

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
10:36 AM

Uttlesford District Council is “relieved” that proposals for additional runways at Stansted Airport have not been recommended to the Government in the latest report looking at airport growth in the south-east.

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The Airports Commission Interim Report, published today, has omitted any recommendation for additional runways at Stansted in favour of airport expansion at Heathrow and Gatwick.

Cllr Jackie Cheetham, deputy leader at the district council, said: “We are pleased our views have been considered and that the commission has responded in our favour. This is good news for the district and our residents.

“We have campaigned long and hard against a second (or more) runways at Stansted which we believe would not be viable if additional runway capacity is brought forward at Heathrow by 2030 and another runway provided at Gatwick. Further runways at Stansted would have a significant impact on the environment and the lives of our residents.

“We are pleased this has been endorsed and recognised by the Commission in its report today and we will now be calling on this and future Governments to heed the Commission’s recommendations when preparing the National Policy Statement on aviation.”

The council has been reaffirming its opposition to an additional runway at Stansted for many years. The authority says that it not only fears an additional runaway will have “a detrimental impact upon the environment and the lives of residents” but it also believes an additional runway “would not be built unless Heathrow were closed, a policy that is difficult to contemplate”.

Cllr Cheetham added: “We do recognise the benefits that Stansted brings to the district and neighbouring authorities in terms of jobs, investment and air transport services sought by businesses, but in agreement with MAG, the airports owner, we recognise that the airport is still operating under capacity and can still expand and grow within its current permissions.

“We welcome the recommendations on improving the rail link between London and Stansted outlined in the report. This will improve access to the airport whist at the same time enhancing the rail link to London for our residents.

“It is possible that an additional runway at Stansted could be proposed in the 2040s and the council will continue to pay close attention to the airport development debate.”

Cllr Jim Ketteridge, leader of of the council said: “We are of course pleased with today’s announcement and I would like to think that our representations, both written and verbal, made some impact on the Commission.

“We will now be talking to Stansted Airport’s owners about making the best economic use of the existing runway.”

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