Tuesday 25th February 2020
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Stansted expansion plans refused by local council

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The planning committee at Uttlesford District Council in Essex, whose area includes London Stansted Airport, has refused the airport's application to serve more passengers.

The airport had applied to increase passenger numbers from the 35 million now permitted to 43 million a year and to build two new taxiways and nine more aircraft stands. It currently handles 28 million passengers a year. A Stansted spokesperson said: “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.”

Unite regional officer Mark Barter said: “We deplore this short-sighted decision by Uttlesford district council’s planning committee which will have an adverse impact on future employment growth at the airport and, more widely, it will have negative ripple effects across the region’s economy. Planning permission would have created 5,000 more jobs at the airport and a further £1bn of economic value would also have been generated.”

In November 2018, the council’s planning committee provisionally approved the application to expand but in May 2019, the 'Residents for Uttlesford' group took control of the council to refer the decision back to the planning committee. One option for the airport is to appeal the decision to the Secretary of State for Housing.