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Published on Monday, January 27, 2020

London Stansted expansion fails to get planning approval

London Stansted has been forced to go back to the drawing board with its expansion plans after it got the thumbs down from local planning officers.

The decision by Uttlesford district council, on the grounds of noise, air quality and climate change, has been branded 'short-sighted' by airline workers union Unite.

Unite had strongly supported the airport's expansion as a major employment generator and said the council's decision would have negative ripple effects across the region's economy.

Unite regional officer Mark Barter said: "With an insecure economic climate and the need to provide quality, well paid jobs for current and future generations, the decision is a step backwards.

"From tourism to the high tech industry, businesses are desperate to have easy, efficient access to Stansted Airport's increasing gateways to the world - and this now appears to have been put in jeopardy.

"There is no denying that the airport delivers substantial benefits to the Uttlesford, Essex and East of England economies. This comes in many forms, but most notably from the 12,000 on-site jobs, of which over 2,500 are Uttlesford residents."

A spokesperson for London Stansted Airport said: "From the outset, we have listened to local communities to put forward an application that delivers the benefits of growth and a comprehensive package of mitigation measures to benefit local communities.

"We are naturally disappointed that the Planning Committee has chosen to consciously ignore the recommendations of not only its own officers but also the additional advice it commissioned at significant cost to the taxpayer from independent technical experts and lawyers. The conclusions of this advice were clear that there should be no impediment to granting approval.

"We will now carefully consider the comments made by the Planning Committee before deciding our next steps."

Pete Waters, executive director at Visit East of England, said: "We're incredibly disappointed with the outcome of the planning process. Rather than looking at the bigger picture, in particular the economic and employment benefits, this result smacks of NIMBYism by a group of people whose only care appears to be their third of an acre.

"This sends completely the wrong message to the thousands of Uttlesford residents who are employed in the tourism industry and indeed use the airport as a place of work or as their gateway to the world. A healthy Stansted is a healthy East of England."

The application was initially approved by councillors in November 2018.


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