New Stansted business park could 'degrade air traffic operations'

Stansted Airport control tower as seen from Takeley

Stansted Airport control tower - Credit: Charlie Ridler, Local Democracy Reporter

Concerns have been raised about a new logistics hub being planned near Stansted Airport which could "degrade air traffic operations".

Threadneedle Curtis Limited, the applicant, has submitted a request for scoping opinion to Uttlesford District Council for its plans for 195,000 square metres - or 2.1 million sq feet - of floorspace on land near Burton End.

But NATS, which the airport uses to provide navigation services, has said the development could "degrade" their equipment.

In an email published on UDC's Public Access forum, NATS expressed concerns about the impact which the hub could have on air traffic operations.

It reads: "A development on this scale so close to the airport has the potential to degrade the communications, navigation and surveillance equipment NATS operates in support of the air traffic operation at the airport, and this should be considered as the design matures.

"Initial work indicates that our radar to the north of the runway is the most likely candidate to experience issues, although these are likely to be mitigatable if the developer is willing to work with us."

However, the email did specify there is not yet enough information to undertake an in-depth assessment.

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The request for scoping opinion was validated by UDC on October 13.

According to the request, the applicant wants to build a logistics hub with storage, distribution, and general industrial, service and business buildings.

A response to the applicant's request will help it develop a full planning application which it intends to submit later this year.

The report adds that the site is mostly vacant, with some buildings remaining from previous uses.

Some buildings such as plane hangars are still in use for a mixture of airport-related services.

The site was previously owned by Manchester Airports Group - Stansted Airport's operator - but is now owned by the applicant.

The site is bordered by woodland and farmland to the north, the village of Burton End to the east, Round Coppice Road and Bury Lodge Lane to the west, and the airport itself to the south.

Nearby Bury Lodge Hotel and Barns are both Grade II-listed buildings.