New campaign in Stansted battle

CAMPAIGNERS opposed to the expansion of Stansted Airport have today received a new weapon in their fight.As the number of Easter holiday flights begins to soar, the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has unveiled a new tool in its campaign against the growth in air transport, singling out the environment around the Essex airport as needing special protection.

CAMPIAIGNERS opposed to the expansion of Stansted Airport have today received a new weapon in their fight.

As the number of Easter holiday flights begins to soar, the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has unveiled a new tool in its campaign against the growth in air transport, singling out the environment around the Essex airport as needing special protection.

Thousands of leaflets and posters depicting an aircraft sucking in the countryside with the slogan "Expanding aviation destroys the countryside" are being distributed to homes and libraries across the country, enabling people to express concerns about the Government's expansion plans.

The new campaign comes ahead of the June 30 consultation deadline for the Government's plans to increase airport capacity in the south east of England. Options include building adding up to three new runways at Stansted and building a new airport at Cliffe in Kent or

Andrew Critchell, the CPRE's aviation campaigner, said: "The Government's options for expansion of air travel are based on a never-ending boom in air travel.

"There are significant question marks about whether this is feasible, or desirable – it certainly isn't environmentally sustainable.

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"The expansion option at Stansted is particularly horrendous. There are some real implications there, especially with something like 65 listed buildings under the threat of damage.

"Surely holidaying in the UK should be more competitive than jetting abroad for a cheap weekend. This would help our own tourist industry and protect the countryside from damaging development."

"People should display these posters wherever they can find space," he added.

Deputy chairman of the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign, Peter Gowan, said he welcomed the new campaign.

He said: "It sounds a great idea. Anything which brings the awareness to the general public of the massive impact it will have - not just on the immediate area around the airport, but also further afield – is excellent news."

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