Stansted expansion plans unveiled

A FORMAL submission to double the size of Stansted Airport was put forward by BAA today.But protestors described the planning application for a second runway and new terminal at the Essex transport hub as “tantamount to a declaration of war”.

Annie Davidson

A FORMAL submission to double the size of Stansted Airport was put forward by BAA today.

But protestors described the planning application for a second runway and new terminal at the Essex transport hub as “tantamount to a declaration of war”.

If given approval, 68 million passengers per year would be using the airport by 2030 and by as soon as 2015 the new features would be operational.

BAA claimed that the £2.5 billion development, known as G2, would bring a £9 billion annual boost to the UK economy.

But a spokeswoman for Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE), the main campaigning group against the proposals, said: “BAA's planning application for a second runway goes beyond environmental vandalism and is tantamount to a declaration of war on the local community and global environment.”

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She added: “We pledge to use every means at its disposal to defeat these plans.”

And Braintree District councillor James Abbot, a member of the Green Party, said: “The BAA's plans are nothing less than lunatic.

“For the sake of cramming more people onto ever-more-cheap flights, the BAA seem happy to be causing so much alarm and to be threatening so much damage to Essex and nearby counties.

“These are the plans of those driven by corporate greed and blind ignorance to what they are inflicting on communities and the environment.”

Many business leaders, however, said they supported the expansion proposal.

John Clayton, chief executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, said the expansion had repercussions not just for the future prosperity of Essex but for the whole of the East of England and beyond.

He said the most the most recent survey of his members showed that a majority supported the development of a second runway.

“The potential of Stansted is not just as a departure point for personal travel but as an airport of choice for business travellers and as an arrival point of growing numbers of tourists visiting the East of England.

“Additionally, volumes of freight passing through Stansted are projected to grow strongly,” he said.

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