Council leader defiant as authority landed with huge legal costs
- Credit: Weston Homes
The leader of Uttlesford District Council has insisted his administration was standing up for constituents' grandchildren after the authority was rebuked by planning inspectors over its handling of plans to expand Stansted Airport.
Councillor John Lodge said the council's opposition to the expansion of the airport was "completely about" climate change.
The council's ruling party Residents 4 Uttlesford took over the authority in 2019. It stood on anti-airport expansion platform and ousted the Conservative administration.
Uttlesford's incoming ruling party swept away the previous administration's decision to give them the green light subject to conditions.
The authority now faces a hefty legal bill after Stansted appealed its decision to reject the airport's expansion plans.
Inspectors sided with Stansted and have ordered Uttlesford to pay the airport's legal costs, which are likely to run into the hundreds of thousands of pounds.
You may also want to watch:
The panel of inspectors said the council’s reasons for refusal were "imprecise, vague and unsubstantiated", and said the strength of evidence in favour of the proposal was "such that the application should clearly have been granted planning permission by the council". It rejected the council's position on environmen
But Mr Lodge was defiant.
- 1 'We're working tirelessly... I'm hopeful of new signings fairly shortly' - Town CEO Ashton on transfers
- 2 Ipswich Town's 2021/22 League One fixtures revealed as Blues start at home
- 3 Six senior players - including Downes - will start pre-season with Under-23s
- 4 Ipswich home transformed on BBC's Homes Under the Hammer
- 5 Man arrested after more than 80 vehicles checked on day of action
- 6 Sam Smith spotted in Suffolk - and could be recording a new album
- 7 Police unlock county lines drug dealer's phone with first guess at password
- 8 Country inn acquired from Jamie Oliver's parents reopens following facelift
- 9 A12 reopens after three-vehicle crash
- 10 Tattoo studio owner fined after refusing to close in lockdown
"It's a ludicrous situation. We at Uttlesford have stood up for our constituents' grandchildren," he said.
"We will now require the minister to take a view on this. If the mining of coal in Cumbria is not appropriate despite planning decisions being made, then we must ask the government to intervene and make a decision that's compatible with their own climate agenda."
Stansted boss Steve Griffiths has welcomed the Planning Inspectorate decision which he said allowed the community and airline partners to plan ahead with certainty.