Campaigners lose Stansted battle
CAMPAIGNERS have today lost their legal battle to prevent an increase in passengers using Stansted Airport. Stop Stansted Expansion was looking to overturn the government s decision to increase passenger numbers at the Essex airport from 25 million to 35
CAMPAIGNERS have today lost their legal battle to prevent an increase in passengers using Stansted Airport.
Stop Stansted Expansion was looking to overturn the government's decision to increase passenger numbers at the Essex airport from 25 million to 35 million a year and the number of flights from 241,000 to 264,000 a year.
SSE had argued that the government had "disregarded" environmental and noise impacts when approving the expansion project.
But, after a four-day hearing in February, High Court judge, Sir Thane Forbes, dismissed the challenge, saying its objections were "unjustified and without substance".
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The group is now seeking to appeal.
Campaign director, Carol Barbone, said: "This High Court action was never simply about winning or losing. Our primary concern was to ensure that our main battle against a second Stansted runway was not prejudiced by the wording of the original decision.
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"However, today's ruling seems to make matters even less clear than they were before. That is why we are seeking leave to appeal."
Stansted commercial and development director, Nick Barton, said the "right decision" had been made "and one we fully expected".
He said: "This is a very good day for the millions of people who need and want to fly to visit their friends and family, go on well-earned holidays or travel on business.
"It's also great news for the thousands of people who work at the airport, and the countless number of businesses that depend on Stansted right across the region, especially given the current economic conditions we are all facing.
"The decision secures our future and ensures we can continue investing in the airport to deliver sustainable improvements in the passenger experience and airline operations through modern facilities and better service standards.
"We are, and always have been, well aware and sympathetic to the sincerely held concerns of local residents - our neighbours - and others, and we will continue to work hard to deliver the huge social and economic benefits the airport provides while managing its impacts in the most sustainable and responsible way possible.