Airport's expansion bid is turned down

PUBLISHED: 09:55 30 November 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 31 May 2010

BAA had hoped to get the cap on passenger numbers at Stansted Airport removed - Pic: SUBMITTED.

BAA had hoped to get the cap on passenger numbers at Stansted Airport removed - Pic: SUBMITTED.

BAA S application to have the passenger cap at Stansted Airport removed was turned down by Uttlesford District Council yesterday (Wednesday November 29). The operator had applied for the withdrawl of the restriction, which was imposed by the council in 20

BAA'S application to have the passenger cap at Stansted Airport removed was turned down by Uttlesford District Council yesterday (Wednesday November 29).

The operator had applied for the withdrawl of the restriction, which was imposed by the council in 2003 limiting 25 million passengers per annum to pass through the airport.

Planning officers last week recommended the Development Control Committee turn down the application, citing nine reasons including potentially negative impacts on noise, air quality, road and rail networks, water consumption and quality of life.

The application only affected the current runway and was not part of the plans for a second runway.

Welcoming the committee's decision, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) chairman Peter Sanders said: "I would like to express appreciation and gratitude to the Uttlesford councillors not only for reaching this decision today but also for the very thorough, professional and transparent manner in which they have dealt with this planning application over the past seven months.

"I believe that I speak not only for SSE in this regard, but for almost the entire local community."

Mr Sanders added he hoped BAA would accept the decision and not launch an appeal.

"Their plans would have had an appalling impact on this predominantly rural area as well as generating the equivalent of an additional five million tonnes a year of carbon dioxide emissions at a time when tackling climate change is the most pressing issue facing the world today," he said.

"BAA should now accept the decision of our democratically elected council to avoid a further period of uncertainty. In so doing, BAA would also be showing respect for the environment, both locally and globally."

SSE member Maggie Sutton, addressing the committee, said: "We have believed from the very beginning that Uttlesford was just too beautiful and too special to be lost to further airport growth.

"Money and big business should not be placed before people's health and their right to a good nights sleep, loss of homes, heritage and communities.

"An airport serving 25 million passengers a year is enough to ask any community to deal with.

"The consequences for the planet with more even more airport expansion is just too much to bear, so I ask you to stop the blight, give us back our futures and grant us peace of mind."

Cllr Alan Dean, who represents Stansted South and sits on the council's Stansted Airport Advisory Panel, told the committee: "Your decision this afternoon could make history and help set the tone for a major rethink about the future of all transport.

"The local reasons for refusal are important and include unwanted noise, degraded communities, pollution damaging our forests, diminishing water supplies plus congested roads and railways.

"All of these factors are unacceptable to local people and these negative effects from more planes and passengers at Stansted are direct and immediate."

Cllr Christina Cant, chairman of the Development Control Committee, proposed that the application was rejected for the reasons cited in the report. This was unanimously supported by the rest of the committee.

BAA did not take the opportunity to address the committee as it believed the case for approving the application had already been made.

But Terry Morgan, managing director BAA Stansted, responded quickly to the decision. He said: "Let's be clear. This planning application is all about growth on the existing single runway at Stansted, it has nothing to do with our plans for a second runway.

"That will be an entirely separate planning application to be made next year.

"Having said that, we are disappointed Uttlesford District Council has been unable to support our application for growth on the existing single runway.

"Effectively, the council is wanting to cap passenger numbers at the current level, which contradicts Government policy.

"We intend to immediately appeal against this decision and will take our case to a public inquiry.

"No-one should be in any doubt that we remain very confident of the case we have made and that this will be fully recognised at the inquiry.

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