The recent proposal to turn the area around Stansted Airport into an urban metropolis is subject to a disgracefully short period of "public consultation" that ends on 31 October. However, silence could be interpreted as an acceptance that we would not resist these grotesque proposals. We have just three weeks to make clear the strength of opposition. Please add your voice to the calls for restraint.
Copies of the draft proposal for the "Stansted / M11 Corridor" are available free from Essex County Council and can be ordered by telephone from Laura Chase on 01245 437544. Please order one today, and then write or email to give your views.
The report, by consultants Colin Buchanan and Partners, claims that a staggering total of 47,700 new houses would be needed locally if an additional runway were to be built at Stansted Airport. This is the conclusion of a study commissioned by the County Councils of Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, the Government Office for the East of England (GO-East), the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) and the East of England Development Agency (EEDA).
In the event of one additional runway, the report proposes 14,600 new houses for Harlow, 7,300 for Stansted Mountfitchet and 5,800 for Great Dunmow. In addition, there would be a new town near Felsted and another between Elsenham and Henham. These two new towns would have 14,100 new houses between them. A further 2,000 new houses would be added to Bishop's Stortford, 2,900 at Braintree and another 1,000 houses at other sites in the local area. In total, 47,700 new houses.
This scale of new housing - for 'just' one extra runway would increase the population of Harlow by 50%, while Stansted Mountfitchet would grow four-fold and Great Dunmow would grow three-fold. The report, which also sets out the local housing implications if an additional two or even three new runways were built at Stansted can also be viewed (with some patience) at www.eera.gov.uk/category.asp?cat=150.
Remember, the so-called "public consultation" period runs only until Friday 31 October 2003. Comments should be sent to:
Colin Buchanan & Partners
45 Notting Hill Gate
London W11 3PB