New ally in fight to stop Stansted moves

PROTESTERS fearful for the future of ancient homes and historic buildings which are under threat from massive expansion plans at Stansted Airport have gained an ally in their fight.

PROTESTERS fearful for the future of ancient homes and historic buildings which are under threat from massive expansion plans at Stansted Airport have gained an ally in their fight.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, which has about 8,000 members, has enlisted its opposition to proposed extra runways, claiming the cost on the area's heritage would be “extreme”.

If Government plans went ahead, the size of the airport could increase by three extra runways and to nearly 5,000 acres.

Those against expansion say the changes would result in the destruction of 326 homes, 64 grade II and one Grade II* listed buildings.


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Two ancient monuments, Waltham Manor and The Grange, would be destroyed with just one additional runway.

Philip Venning, secretary of the society, urged people to take immediate action.

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“Even under the options of one or two extra runways the cost to heritage is extreme. It should certainly not be portrayed as an acceptable compromise that somehow balances heritage concerns with the needs of the airlines.

“We are therefore hoping every one of our members will write to the Secretary of State for Transport to express concerns about airport expansion,” he said.

The society's members could add substantial backing to the anti-expansion protest and the support has been welcomed by Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign.

Norman Mead, chairman of the group, said: “The value of heritage and the role it plays in enriching us all is often disregarded by governments in their drive to satisfy business interests.

“The region would be a poorer place - and significantly less attractive to both local people and tourists - if we were to allow these treasures to disappear or be degraded by the imposition of the world's largest airport at Stansted.”

The opposition follows an announcement earlier this year from the National Trust which said it was against the expansion plan because of the effect it could have on the local, regional and national environment.

The Government's consultation process about airport expansion will finish at the end of June, with an announcement about where expansion will take place, due in the autumn.

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