Uttlesford ‘strongly opposes’ new runways at Stansted Airport outlined in commission report

Stansted Airport, aerial view of main terminal building

Stansted Airport, aerial view of main terminal building - Credit: www.baa.com/photolibrary

UTTLESFORD District Council has reaffirmed its opposition to runway expansion at Stansted Airport.

The council has responded to the proposals for additional runways recently submitted to the Airports Commission report, which has been asked to look at UK airport growth.

In its submission, the cCouncil sets out its opposition to new runways at the Essex hub. The council not only “fears additional runways will have a detrimental impact upon the environment and the lives of residents”, but it also believes there is “no evidence which indicates additional runways are justified to meet the anticipated passenger demand in 2050”.

The commission has publicised a number of outline proposals for Stansted – including the Mayor of London’s suggestion of a four-runway super hub airport – which would be built alongside the existing airport which would continue to operate.

Cllr Jackie Cheetham, deputy leader of UDC, said: “We are wholly opposed to the construction of additional runways at Stansted Airport. Not only will it have a dramatic impact upon the landscape and the lives of our residents living within our district, but there is also no evidence to suggest that a new super hub airport is needed to cope with predicted passenger demand.

“It is unclear whether the practicalities of this expansion have been fully considered and therefore we will continue to push for more clarity and certainty of the plans.”

Although a four-runway hub airport at Stansted is the Boris Johnson’s second choice, Uttlesford council officers believe it runs a very close second to his preferred Isle of Grain option, and is well ahead of the Outer Thames Estuary.

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Cllr Cheetham added: “We believe the mayor is using a ‘one size fits all’ hub airport layout for all of his options and this is not the right way forward when determining expansion plans.

“We are very concerned at the suggestion Thaxted could be preserved merely by cutting off the corner of the new super hub airport. This displays no real regard for one of the country’s finest small medieval towns.”

The council believes the proposal raises a number of environmental challenges which have not been fully addressed, particularly major differences in land heights which would require significant excavation. The proposed layout would also impact on the Chelmer Valley, one of the most significant and defining parts of the district.

Uttlesford District Council is contacting the Commission to request they accompany senior members and officers from the council on a visit to the affected areas.