Stansted decision sparks business anger

BUSINESS leaders last night branded the rejection of Stansted Airport's expansion plans as “short-sighted”, while environmental groups welcomed the move.

BUSINESS leaders last night branded the rejection of Stansted Airport's expansion plans as “short-sighted”, while environmental groups welcomed the move.

Richard Tunnicliffe, regional director of the Confederation of British Industry, was among the most outspoken against the Uttlesford District Council move.

“We are very disappointed with the decision,” he said. “Allowing the airport to grow is one of the key factors to the continued prosperity and competitiveness of the East of England region.

“In refusing this application, the council has adopted a short-sighted position which is bad news for business and for all of us who want to see the region prosper."


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Jerry Golland, chair of the East of England Institute of Directors, was also disappointed.

He said: “Aviation is vitally important to the UK economy, providing access to markets, encouraging inward investment and promoting tourism.

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“Limiting growth at Stansted will harm tourism, cut inward investment and damage the region's economy. We hope BAA appeal against this decision.”

The Suffolk Development Agency said the potential expansion of Stansted provided a major opportunity for the county and the region as a whole.

Scott Dolling, of the group, said: “There is an opportunity for increased growth through the expansion of Stansted and the decision needs to be balanced and made for the whole of the region not just the immediate area.”

Although businesses in Suffolk have backed the expansion, the county council was one of the scheme's opponents.

The authority has concerns about the environmental impact of the proposed growth in air traffic, both in terms of emissions and the increasing use of airspace over Suffolk and the noise it creates.

Lord Hanningfield, leader of Essex County Council, said: “Unfortunately, whatever Uttlesford say, it is Government policy so it will happen.

“Uttlesford have made a mistake really because they want to make certain that conditions such as proper road and rail infrastructure and rules on night flights and noise are met. If Uttlesford had given permission they could have imposed all these rules.

“If we are not careful the Government will give planning permission without all these conditions so we need to fight for these things.”

James Abbott, Green Party eastern region spokesman on transport and climate change, welcomed the rejection of the plans.

He said: “We welcome this decision by the local authority. It is the right decision - and a bold one.

“Planning permission has been refused for the same reasons the Green Party has been campaigning on for years - airport expansion at Stansted is fundamentally unsustainable and is adding to climate change.”

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