Stansted Airport G1 Planning Application
In November 2006 Uttlesford District Council (UDC) Planning Committee voted unanimously to refuse the ‘Stansted G1’ planning application. This planning application had been submitted by BAA in April 2006 and sought approval for the removal of existing planning conditions which limited Stansted Airport to a throughput of 25 million passengers per annum (mppa). Instead BAA wanted Stansted to be allowed to use the full capacity of the existing runway.
BAA argued that Government policy, as set down in the 2003 Air Transport White Paper, supported airports making best use of their existing runways. However, this was a misleading simplification of Government policy. There was no carte blanche. Government policy made clear that environmental and other relevant planning considerations had to be weighed in the balance.
BAA also argued that removal of the existing planning cap would allow Stansted’s passenger numbers to grow to no more than 35mppa. SSE challenged this with compelling analysis which showed that Stansted was already capable of handling 40mppa and that this would progressively increase to a capacity of about 45mppa by 2020 and about 50mppa by 2030.
BAA lodged an appeal with the Secretary of State almost immediately following the UDC refusal. The process which followed was that the Secretary of State appointed an Inspector to chair a Public Inquiry to examine the issues. The Public Inquiry opened in May 2007, the hearings stage ran until October 2007 and written submissions continued until March 2008. The Inspector ultimately recommended approval of BAA’s Planning Application subject to a new planning cap of 35mppa. The Secretary of State fully accepted the Inspector’s recommendations and announced his decision to approve the application in October 2008.
Some of the most important documents relating to the G1 Public Inquiry are provided below.