Uttlesford District Council today reaffirmed its opposition to a second
runway at Stansted, declaring it would have a hugely negative environmental
impact.It comes in response to the long-awaited announcement from BAA today of its
preferred option for the planned expansion.
The authority will continue its absolute opposition to any new runway being
built at Stansted. Nothing in BAA’s announcement should be taken as
affecting this position, which is supported by all political groups on the
BAA’s plans would see Stansted double in size and eat up a further 486
hectares of countryside. It would see 73 homes and 18 listed buildings
destroyed or moved. Even though the plans now see the runway moved closer
to the existing one, the impact on local communities remains disastrous.
UDC, Essex and Hertfordshire County Councils and East Herts District
Council responded jointly to BAA’s G2 Options Consultation in March 2006 to
ensure that any new runway proposal fully considered the impacts on their
UDC believes that a second runway will have an unacceptable impact, both on
the local community and the wider environment.
The expansion will place an unacceptable burden on roads and rail services.
Land take from the countryside will cause irreversible harm to the
continued protection of the countryside. The nation’s most valued
landscapes and environmental resources, such as ancient woodland, important
hedgerows, historic field patterns, archaeological sites and green lanes
cannot be replaced. Many historic buildings will have to be destroyed,
causing immense damage to the area’s heritage.
In addition, the growth of aviation facilitated by a second runway will
continue to add to global warming, potentially destroying the global
environment for future generations.
Council leader Mark Gayler said: “Today’s statement from BAA does
absolutely nothing to make us re-think our position. We remain totally
opposed to a second runway at Stansted. This development would be an
environmental disaster, both locally and globally.”
Councillor Alan Dean, chairman of UDC’s Airport Task Group, said: “This
proposal is in response to a misguided set of government policies. It will
bring only harm to a wide area. We will fight BAA?s plans until we win.”
Cllr Jackie Cheetham, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group, said: “Any
second runway at Stansted will be an environmental disaster and will
destroy the communities in the area.”
Cllr Elizabeth Godwin, Leader of the Independent Group, said: “The
countryside which will be destroyed cannot be replaced. Our communities do
not want this and it is hard to believe that this is what the rest of the
In November 2006 Uttlesford District Council turned down a planning
application from BAA to increase passenger numbers using the existing
facilities at Stansted. This will be the subject of a separate public
inquiry, due to begin this summer.