Stop Stansted Expansion celebrates its 10th birthday

THERE was only time for a brief pause during a busy Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) committee meeting on Friday to celebrate the campaign group’s 10th birthday.

After a quick group photograph and a slice of cake it was back to work, dealing with the government’s latest consultation on future aviation policy.

SSE chairman Peter Sanders later took time out to reflect on the origins of the campaign group, back in the summer of 2002, when the government published airport expansion proposals for the south-east, including proposals for up to three additional runways at Stansted.

The following year the government finalised its policy, settling for one extra runway at Stansted which it wanted to have operational by 2011 or 2012.

Mr Sanders said: “When you consider that we had to do battle with both BAA and the might of the government, it was quite an achievement when Stansted’s owners finally threw in the towel in May 2010 by withdrawing its second runway planning application.

“Once again, however, the government is re-visiting the issue of airport capacity in the south-east and SSE is working hard behind the scenes trying to prevent a repeat of the threat of Stansted becoming another Heathrow.

“But make no mistake: if the threat does re-emerge, we will resist it with as much determination as ever.”