Anti-runway campaign launched in Lords

A CAMPAIGN to oppose the building of up to three new runways at Stansted Airport has been launched in the House of Lords.Essex County Council has formed a coalition with Hertfordshire County Council and East Herts Council to oppose Government proposals for a massive increase in airport runways in the South East.

A CAMPAIGN to oppose the building of up to three new runways at Stansted Airport has been launched in the House of Lords.

Essex County Council has formed a coalition with Hertfordshire County Council and East Herts Council to oppose Government proposals for a massive increase in airport runways in the South East.

The Government is planning ahead for an expected increase in air travel over the next 30 years. Proposals to cope include building up to three new runways at Stansted and a new airport at Cliffe in North Kent, just across the Thames estuary from Essex.

Essex County Council has been opposing the proposals, which if the Stansted maximum expansion option is chosen, would mean the loss of three ancient monuments, one wood, one Grade II* and up to 64 Grade II listed building, as well as 200 homes.


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Introducing the coalition yesterday to an audience of MPs, the media and influential commentators, Essex County Council leader Lord Hanningfield said: "We are concerned that the Government is missing a vital opportunity to balance the demands of the aviation industry against its impact on the environment.

"Our campaign is aimed at encouraging the Government to return to the principles of sustainable aviation, which it enshrined in its own Transport White Paper in 1998."

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The coalition is supported by a cross party group of MPs, including Sir Alan Haselhurst, of Saffron Walden, and Bob Russell, of Colchester.

A brochure has been published summarising the key arguments of the coalition, which are:

nHow demand can be managed and met until 2015.

nWhy the government should address the environmental impact of aviation before making decisions about infrastructure.

nWhat the alternatives to meeting future demand might be – including the European aviation market or the potential for an offshore airport beyond 2015.

"We recognise that air travel is a vital and inevitable aspect of our future. But, our research shows that the Government can realise the benefits aviation has to offer, without building new runways in the South East of England," added Lord Hanningfield.

Over the coming months the coalition will be presenting its view to key Whitehall opinion formers and decision makers working on the Government's forthcoming Aviation White Paper.

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