New fears over Suffolk air traffic

CAMPAIGNERS fighting a second runway at Stansted Airport have claimed closer scrutiny of the plan reveals there could be a major impact on the peaceful Suffolk countryside.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting a second runway at Stansted Airport have claimed closer scrutiny of the plan reveals there could be a major impact on the peaceful Suffolk countryside.

The county's tranquility would be “severely” shattered and climate change problems would be significantly heightened by the new airstrip, it was alleged last night.

Campaigners and the Suffolk Preservation Society (SPS) have now joined forces to call for the plans to be shelved ahead of Friday's deadline for representations on the planning application.

The SPS claimed that expanding London's third airport had “ramifications across the whole of the east of England” and called on airport bosses to utilise all existing capacity before considering further expansion.


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Richard Ward, SPS director, said: “Efficient use of the site would be a sustainable way forward and would help prevent even more aircraft noise from further eroding Suffolk's quiet open spaces.

“The society is also concerned that environmental issues such as climate change have been seemingly ignored in this application.”

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The society has now written to planning chiefs at Uttlesford District Council claiming residents in the county were already suffering “considerable noise disturbance” and asking why aircraft stacking could not be carried out over the sea instead of over peaceful Suffolk countryside.

And the Stop Stansted Expansion group claimed closer inspection of an environmental statement released by BAA revealed the true extent of air movement over the county in the coming years.

The organisation claimed that information “buried deep” in BAA documents revealed that stacking areas would remain the same as those recently outlined by the National Air Traffic Services - despite the vast increase in flight movements if the expansion was passed.

People in the Lavenham and Newmarket areas particularly have voiced concerns about the potential noise from aircraft stacking.

SSE campaign director Carol Barbone said: “Everyone concerned about noise and tranquillity issues should recognise the major threat that would be posed by a second runway at Stansted with some half a million flights a year using the airport. Such intensity of overflying would radically change the character of the region.”

Though a planning application has now been officially submitted to Uttlesford District Council by airport operator BAA, a public inquiry will determine the plans in April next year.

BAA declined to comment.

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