Council leader continues fight against Stansted expansion

R4U Councillor John Lodge, leader at Uttlesford District Council. Photo: R4U.

Uttlesford District Council leader John Lodge - Credit: R4U

Stansted Airport's expansion plan is not a done deal, a council leader has insisted.

Uttlesford District Council leader John Lodge has written to government ministers asking for their help to block Stansted's expansion.

But ministers have already refused to intervene. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has said the case is out of its minister's hands.

The Planning Inspectorate granted Stansted Airport permission on May 26 to build new aircraft stands to accommodate eight million extra passengers each year, overturning a previous UDC decision.

UDC was told to pay the airport operator's appeal costs.

A letter headed Uttlesford District Council

Uttlesford District Council leader John Lodge wrote to government ministers over Stansted Airport expansion plans - Credit: Archant

Councillor John Lodge told ministers: "This was a most disappointing outcome for the council, for our residents and those of neighbouring districts, and for the future of our grandchildren and great grandchildren."

He has called on the secretaries of state for Transport Grant Shapps and Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick to meet with him to discuss future options.


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Grant Shapps previously refused to make a 'direction' when planners deliberated in May.

Cllr Lodge is also seeking legal advice over the expansion, and has not ruled out taking the case to judicial review.

People stand far apart, social distancing for Covid-19. All of them have bags, about to board a plane

Stansted Airport. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant

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Cllr Lodge previously said he would ask ministers to call in the application to expand Stansted Airport, pointing to a recent MHCLG intervention into an application to build a coal mine in Cumbria.

An MHCLG spokesperson said: "The appointed Inspectors have now allowed an appeal and granted planning permission for works at Stansted Airport.

"As such the Secretary of State has no jurisdiction in the matter, and would not be able to call in the case."

Cllr Lodge also criticised the Planning Inspectorate for not reopening its inquiry when new 'carbon budget' legislation - placing climate targets on international aviation for the first time - was announced.

The legislation comes into force this month.

The Planning Inspectorate said: "When making a decision, inspectors give careful consideration to the evidence submitted at the time of the appeal taking account of current planning legislation, guidance and policy."

Stansted Airport said the planning appeal decision allowed them to plan ahead.

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