Green light for BAA's controversial expansion plans despite fierce opposition from environmental groups
The controversial expansion of Stansted has been given the go-ahead by the government, in an announcement made today by transport secretary Geoff Hoon.
Owner of the London airport, BAA, plans to increase annual passenger numbers from 25 million to 35 million, and raise the number of flights leaving the airport from 241,000 to 264,000 a year.
Unions have praised the proposal, saying it could bring new jobs, but objectors believe the expansion would cause considerable harm to the environment, and members of the Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) campaign group have conducted a long-running campaign opposing the plans.
Aviation minister Jim Fitzpatrick, said the decision was made because of an “urgent need for additional runway capacity in the South East."
We recognise that there have been strong views expressed about Stansted’s expansion [...] and all views were given the chance to be heard at the public inquiry.
He said: "We recognise that there have been strong views expressed about Stansted’s expansion [...] and all views were given the chance to be heard at the public inquiry.”
He added that ministers had thought “long and hard about the case”, before making their decision.
Planning permission for the expansion was initially denied due to noise pollutions and environmental concerns raised by Uttlesford District Council in November 2006.
But BAA announced in a public inquiry that there would be measures introduced to control, manage and minimise predicted impacts on the local environment.