Appeal Fund Launched To Fight Airport Expansion
(press release issued 2 December 2006 by Stop Stansted Expansion)
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) launched a fundraising appeal today (Saturday 2 December) to raise £100,000 to challenge BAA at the public inquiry which will be held following Uttlesford District Council's refusal of the airport operator's plans to expand Stansted this week.
Campaign leaders and supporters met in Thaxted Churchyard to signal the start of the appeal by displaying a large barometer image showing the target for the Public Inquiry Appeal Fund and the sums already promised to kick start the initiative. Over £10,000 has already been pledged by members of the community in the last week, even before the appeal was announced. Offers of support from other airport communities around the country are also being made.
SSE intends to play a full and active role in representing the community at the public inquiry through its established volunteer team, reinforced by external specialist support in the form of expert witnesses and legal advisers. Estimates are that to fund this external support the likely cost will be in the region of £100,000 – a sum which will need to be raised very quickly indeed in order to enable SSE to commission the specialists who will be vital in challenging BAA.
As well as appealing to its 6500 supporters and members of the community to make donations, SSE is also calling on people to support the appeal by organising fundraising events throughout the coming year.
Thaxted was chosen as the location for the launch because it is already so heavily overflown and representative of the blight suffered by so many people locally. If expansion were to go ahead on the scale hoped for by BAA, it would mean an extra 115 planes per day for two out of every three days (on average) that it is overflown, making a total of around 360 planes on each of these days.
Members of the public wishing to contribute to the appeal can do so online or by sending cheques payable to SSE at
PO Box 311
Herts CM22 6PY.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
While SSE has called on BAA to do the decent thing and respect the Council's refusal to allow an increase in aircraft movements and the removal of any ceiling on passenger movements, BAA has nevertheless issued its appeal against the decision. This means that the application will now go forward to a public inquiry which is expected to start in Spring 2007 and probably last for four to five months.
After the inquiry is over, the Inspector will write a report and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State of the Department for Communities and Local Government (currently Ruth Kelly) who will ultimately make the decision. It is likely to be 2008 before the outcome is known.
MEDIA CONTACT AND FURTHER COMMENT
Contact Carol Barbone (see above)
SSE Calls Upon BAA To Respect Democratic Decision
(press release issued 29 November 2006 by Stop Stansted Expansion)
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has called upon BAA to respect the democratic decision of Uttlesford District Council by not appealing against its unanimous decision today (29 November) to refuse BAA's planning application which could have led to a doubling of passenger numbers at Stansted and an extra 80,000 flights a year over and above current levels.
If BAA appeals the decision to the Secretary of State, the consequence will be a lengthy public inquiry and continued uncertainty for the local community throughout next year. The uncertainty not only affects people's lives but would also have an adverse impact on the community which has been blighted by this latest round of expansion plans for over four years.
SSE Chairman Peter Sanders said: "In the first instance I would like to express appreciation and gratitude to the Uttlesford councillors not only for reaching this decision today but also for the very thorough, professional and transparent manner in which they have dealt with this planning application over the past seven months. I believe that I speak not only for Stop Stansted Expansion in this regard but for almost the entire local community."
Peter Sanders continued: "BAA's plans would have had an appalling impact on this predominantly rural area as well as generating the equivalent of an additional five million tonnes a year of carbon dioxide emissions at a time when tackling climate change is the most pressing issue facing the world today. BAA should now accept the decision of our democratically elected council to avoid a further period of uncertainty for local people. In so doing, BAA would also be showing respect for the environment – both locally and globally."
Apart from prolonging the uncertainty, if BAA were to appeal there would also be significant cost implications for the local community. Uttlesford District Council is one of the smallest local authorities in the country and the cost of dealing with a public inquiry would amount to several hundred thousand pounds. Ironically, BAA does not pay local council taxes. It pays business rates which go directly to central government.
If BAA does lodge an appeal, SSE has pledged itself to support Uttlesford District Council in presenting the case at public inquiry. This should assist UDC in minimising the cost burden whilst also sharing technical expertise to strengthen its case.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Maggie Sutton, SSE member and resident of Broxted, made an address to councillors at the start of the Development Control Committee meeting. The text of this is accessible here.
Cllr Alan Dean of Uttlesford District Council made an address to the meeting which can be viewed here.
Cllr Mark Gayler, Leader of Uttlesford District Council, made an address to the meeting which can be viewed here.
Cllr Keith Artus of Uttlesford District Council made an address to the meeting which can be viewed here.
"Appeal launched against planning decision" - press release issued by BAA 5 December 2006
"Council Set To Refuse Airport Planning Application" - press release issued by SSE 21 November 2006
SSE's original response to this planning application - published 27 April 2006
Other responses to this planning application, as collected by SSE
"Stansted submits planning application to increase use of existing runway" - press release issued by BAA 26 April 2006
Stansted Generation 1 - Planning Statement issued 26 April 2006 by BAA (Acrobat® format 4.3 MB)
future.stanstedairport.com/main/user/page.phtml?page_id=130 - BAA's full documentation of the application above
Broxted Parish Council's response to the Generation 1 consultation - published 12 October 2005
SSE's initial response to the Generation 1 consultation - published 2 August 2005
BAA Consultation Document: Stansted Airport - Interim Master Plan - Draft for Consultation July 2005 (Acrobat® format 0.9 MB)
Stansted urges community to ‘Have your say’ - press release issued 28 July 2005 by BAA
"Stansted confident of its place at the heart of the regional economy" - press release issued by BAA 11 November 2004, in response to the EERA Draft Regional Plan
(with more on their intention to apply for 35 million passengers per annum on the existing runway)
Draft Regional Plan published December 2004 by EERA (Acrobat ® format 2.8 MB)
Uttlesford District Council's response to BAA's "Scoping Report"- November 2004 (Acrobat ® format, 178 KB)
BAA's "Scoping Report" Consultation on studies proposed to consider the environmental effects of further growth of Stansted (within its existing single runway capacity) - July 2004 (Acrobat ® format, 3.7 MB)
"Stansted confirms plans to submit planning application to grow beyond 25 million" press release issued 28 April 2004 by BAA
Click here if you need to download a copy of the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader.