ESSEX: Stansted Airport expansion Will go ahead’

A COURT ruling against consultation proposals for a third runway at Heathrow airport has absolutely nothing to do with Stansted s second runway application , say owners BAA. The airport giant has said that the ruling, which is blocking development at Hea

A COURT ruling against consultation proposals for a third runway at Heathrow airport has "absolutely nothing to do with Stansted's second runway application", say owners BAA.

The airport giant has said that the ruling, which is blocking development at Heathrow airport, "changes nothing" regarding plans at Stansted Airport.

When the High Court ruling was announced on Friday (March 26) the Stop Stansted Expansion Group said that it had "major implications" for ongoing airport expansion battles elsewhere and said that the ruling meant Government policy on expanding airports is invalid.

However, a BAA spokesman said that the situation was not as clear cut as that.

"The High Court ruling has absolutely nothing to do with Stansted's second runway application, so changes nothing regarding our plans," said the spokesman.

"For SSE to suggest otherwise is simply opportunistic and completely disingenuous.

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"Permission to build a third runway at Heathrow is an important decision for the country, which demands extensive consultation.

"This judgement was about the process of consultation, not the arguments for or against a third runway, which we believe remain strongly in favour of new capacity at the UK's only hub airport. As we produce more detailed proposals, those will be open to full public scrutiny.

"The National Policy Statement on aviation, due out in 2011, will address the areas of concern as indicated by the High Court Judge, and that will be informed by further public consultation later this year - this was confirmed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown."

Currently, Stansted's plans, named G2, are at a different stage to plans at Heathrow.

Stansted's application is already in, and parties are awaiting the start of a public inquiry. Two major public consultations have already been taken place, one by BAA and another by Uttlesford District Council.

The public inquiry will ultimately decide to approve or reject the G2 application.

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