Inquiry announced over BAA's planning refusal

PUBLISHED: 09:32 27 February 2007 | UPDATED: 10:12 31 May 2010

Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport

DETAILS of the public inquiry into Uttlesford District Council s refusal to grant planning permission for BAA s expansion plans at Stansted Airport have been announced. The inquiry, which is expected to last for six weeks, will be held at Endeavour House

DETAILS of the public inquiry into Uttlesford District Council's refusal to grant planning permission for BAA's expansion plans at Stansted Airport have been announced.

The inquiry, which is expected to last for six weeks, will be held at Endeavour House at the airport beginning on Wednesday, May 30 and the venue has been hired at BAA's expense to avoid taxpayers bearing the brunt.

The facilities are being hired from United Business Centres, a tenant of BAA's property arm, Lynton, which owns the building.

UDC leader Mark Gayler said the venue for the airport operator's appeal against the Development Control Committee's decision to refuse to remove the annual 25 million passenger cap would not influence the Planning Inspectorate's decision.

"The venue for the appeal inquiry will not influence the outcome of the inquiry," he said.

"What is crucial is that we mount the best case possible to defend the decision the council made.

"It's better that we spend the resources we have on putting that case, rather than spending a six figure sum on paying for a different venue when we don't have to."

BAA also paid for the district council's costs of hiring additional administrative support after the application was submitted last year to handle the consultation correspondence.

Cllr Gayler added: "I don't think it's unreasonable that BAA should meet the venue costs for the inquiry, given that they paid only £135 for last year's planning application to vary conditions."

A UDC spokesman said other sites for the inquiry were looked at but Endeavour House best met the needs of the inspectorate.

"Alternative venues off the airport site were looked at, but the Planning Inspectorate's accommodation requirements made it the best choice," he said.

"The need for a large hall capable of seating hundreds of people, combined with the availability of several smaller support rooms and good accessibility by public transport, meant the options were limited."

"We will also be asking the Inspectorate to hold some of the inquiry sessions in venues in local communities when the inquiry is considering the effects of quality of life issues."

A BAA spokesman said they did not wish to comment on the inquiry arrangements.

A special pre-inquiry meeting, chaired by Planning Inspector Alan Boyland, takes place on Monday, March 5, at UDC's offices in London Road, Saffron Walden from 2pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

People who want to give evidence in person at the inquiry beginning on May 30 should write, quoting reference APP/C1570/A/06/2032278/NWF, to: The Planning Inspectorate, Room 4/04 Kite, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN.

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