BAA LAUNCHES A PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON PROPOSED PLANS FOR INCREASING TRAFFIC ON THE EXISTING RUNWAY
(response published 2 August 2005 by Stop Stansted Expansion)
The consultation paper "Growing Stansted airport on the existing runway" has been distributed to a number of people with the new issue of BAA's News sheet "Plane Talk". If you are not one of those who have received a copy and you intend to respond to the questions asked (and possibly to some that have not been included!) then you should order the full copy either by downloading it from www.stanstedairport.com/future or by telephoning 0800 783 1764. The consultation closes on October 31st.
A preliminary survey of the paper - which claims that your answers will help BAA to complete their formal Planning Application for expansion to Uttlesford District Council - shows that BAA, like the government, is still using the word "sustainable development" to describe a process that can never be regarded as sustainable either locally or nationally.
For example, any growth of air traffic at Stansted will, as shown in the predictions, lead to big increases in greenhouse gases and water usage. The effects on climate change can only be mitigated by other sections of society having to reduce their own energy use. Increase in water use will have to be compensated for by savings elsewhere. The real question that both BAA and the government have to answer is where are those savings going to be made? As yet there are no carbon neutral planes on the horizon and no practical plans to improve the water supplies of the driest region in the UK (the M11 area being one of the driest areas within the region).
BAA presents the predicted figures of energy and water use for 2015 (including airport use only, and relying on future efficiency savings) as an improvement, by comparing the airport's present energy and water use per passenger with those in 2015, rather than the overall demand. In the case of water the figures for the original predictions for 2010 made for the application to expand to 25 mppa are included - they were higher than the new 2015 predictions so the implicit suggestion is that there has been a significant future saving of water, though no explanation is given as to how this will be achieved.
The question of the emissions from the increase in the number of planes using the airport (another 30,000 flights are predicted - 274,000 in place of the present limit of 241,000), is dismissed as being a matter for the proposed EU carbon emissions trading scheme to deal with.
It is important to remember that although the draft East of England Plan supports the full use of the present runway, the Sustainability Appraisal of the Plan makes it clear that in the consultants' view the extended use of runway 1 as well as the building of runway 2, would lead to a rise in carbon emissions that would be inconsistent with the government's policy of trying to reduce such emissions.
The Draft Interim Airport Master Plan
This Plan is now a statutory requirement for airport operators and is intended to help local Planning Authorities as it will provide an account of the future intentions of their local airports. BAA has chosen to restrict itself to its plans for the present runway and to postpone any consideration of the changes expected with runway 2 until various essential studies have been completed, probably not until 2007.
It should not be regarded as part of the actual Local Planning Framework, simply as a statement of a local developer's intent. It may have the apparent backing of the government's Aviation White Paper, but it still has to pass the Planning procedures and to satisfy an independent Environmental Impact/Sustainability Appraisal. It, too, has been put out for consultation and can be downloaded from the website or obtained from 0800 783 1764.
The information given is basically identical to that in the first document, though much more information is given about the actual organisation of the airport and its associated businesses. The issues are the same, that of expansion and its effects. There are questions to be answered and it is hoped that as many people as possible will respond.
Text taken from SSE's "Recent News" page.
Stansted urges community to ‘Have your say’ - press release issued 28 July 2005 by BAA
BAA Consultation Document: Stansted Airport - Interim Master Plan - Draft for Consultation July 2005 (Acrobat® format 0.9 MB)
Broxted Parish Council's response to the above consultation - published 12 October 2005