Stansted campaigners vow to fight on

CAMPAIGNERS against the expansion of Stansted Airport have vowed they will not contemplate defeat.A public meeting was held by the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign group and heard from 600 people who crowded into the high school in Mountfitchet.

CAMPAIGNERS against the expansion of Stansted Airport have vowed they will not contemplate defeat.

A public meeting was held by the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign group and heard from 600 people who crowded into the high school in Mountfitchet.

The meeting was chaired by the area's MP Sir Alan Hazelhurst who sat beneath a banner which read Stop Stansted Expansion - Yes We Will.

At the meeting on Thursday night, Mike Hibbs, chairman of Uttlesford District Council, promised the council would use all its powers to oppose any BAA move to build a second runway.


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He said: "We will be holding a special council meeting on January 26 to plan our challenge to the Government's White Paper."

Norman Mead, chairman of Stop Stansted Expansion, then spoke and reminded people the White Paper was a statement of Government policy on airports and not the law.

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He said: "BAA has been pressing for more runways for years, now the ball is in its court. It is desperate to persuade everyone that the deal is done, hence its propaganda campaign.

"But if the local community fiercely opposes its plans and stands together we can defeat BAA."

He said: "SSE's aim is to tie BAA in knots, and use the White Paper to our advantage.

"So let us have the planning application quickly, put your cards on the table, we are ready to fight with all the legal expertise available."

After appealing to the meeting for money to fight the coming battle Mr Mead said: "We do not contemplate the possibility of defeat. This area could become a concrete jungle within a generation.

"If a second runway is built it will be very difficult to prevent a third and fourth runway. This is a test of our resolve and determination."

His speech was greeted by a standing ovation and loud cheers.

Sir Alan then invited questions from the floor and the meeting heard Derek Connell, landlord of The Three Horseshoes at Duton Hill, say: "I am a 'Nimby'. I have spent ten years building up my pub to make it the centre of the community.

"This is not about the market value of a house, it's about ordinary folk trying to protect their way of life."

Geoff Gazzard, leader of the national pressure group Airportwatch, gave a message of support as the question session finished and said: "The message for tonight is not just resistance but calmness and resolve. Yes, you can win."

Sir Alan drew the meeting to a close with the words: "Never despair, let's go out with a lift in our hearts because we will win because we deserve to do so."

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