6th November 2018
Airport spin doctors in final attempt to sway council planners
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has described the latest Stansted Airport press release claiming public support for its expansion plans as a complete distortion of the facts and a desperate eleventh hour attempt by the airport’s spin doctors to influence members of Uttlesford District Council (UDC) Planning Committee.
The Council’s Planning Committee is due to consider the airport planning application on Wednesday 14th November. The application, submitted earlier this year by the owners of Stansted Airport, the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), would, if approved, mean 44% more flights and 66% more passengers, compared to last year. It would also increase Stansted’s emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) – the main contributor to global warming – by an average of over a million tonnes a year.
SSE Chairman Peter Sanders said “The evidence submitted by SSE and others clearly demonstrates that this application, if approved, would have very serious environmental consequences for this generation and future generations.
It would inflict yet more noise misery upon local residents and it would be a recipe for gridlock at Junction 8 of the M11, as well as on many of our key local roads. [Note 1] We simply do not have the infrastructure to support an airport the size of Gatwick”.
Stansted Airport claims that hundreds of people have registered their support for its expansion plans. The fact is that, despite repeatedly badgering all airport employees to trigger automatic computer-generated “I support expansion” emails, only some 900 out of 12,000 airport employees did so, and only 16 members of the general public sent individual letters or emails to UDC supporting the expansion proposals.
By contrast, UDC received 934 individually-written letters and emails opposing the expansion proposals including objections from 47 Parish Councils. Not a single Parish Council has registered its support for the expansion proposals.
Peter Sanders concluded: “This is a choice between the facts and spin; between the airport PR machine and the interests of our precious local environment and the quality of life for local residents, their children and grandchildren. We don’t have the funds to invest in glossy publications, slick videos and celebrity endorsements. We do however have the confidence that our elected representatives will not be swayed by the spin. We are confident that UDC Planning Committee will focus on the hard evidence and its duty to the community and, accordingly, will not permit these highly damaging airport expansion proposals.”
Note 1: Amongst the worst affected local roads would be the A120, the A1250, the B1383, the B1256, the Bishop’s Stortford bypass, Chapel Hill, Grove Hill, Church Road and Bury Lodge Lane (all Stansted Mountfitchet) and Parsonage Lane and the Four Ashes junction in Takeley.
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