17th June 2019
Biggest ever residents’ petition calls for review of airport decision
The biggest ever residents’ petition in the history of Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has been submitted to the Council by Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE). The petition calls for the 2018 Stansted Airport planning application to be referred back to the UDC Planning Committee.
The residents’ petition, which was launched last Tuesday (11 June), attracted over 1,000 signatures in its first five days. This is more than 20 times more than the minimum required by UDC for a petition to be validated and more than four times as many as any previous UDC petition.
The 2018 Stansted Airport planning application, which sought approval for an increase in annual passenger numbers to 43 million, was conditionally approved by the UDC Planning Committee in November 2018. However, final approval has not yet been granted because there are conflicting views as to whether the conditions laid down by the Planning Committee have been fully met.
UDC officers insist that all the conditions have been resolved and they now wish to grant final approval to Stansted Airport. However, SSE has identified a number of specific issues which are still outstanding. There are divided views amongst councillors as to whether the conditions have been fully satisfied.
SSE’s position is that it is the role of the Council’s Planning Committee to resolve these disagreements and to provide a ruling as to whether the conditions they laid down in November 2018 have now been met. In addition, before granting final approval, the Planning Committee has a legal duty to consider any new material factors and/or changes in circumstances that have arisen in the seven months that have passed since November last year when the application was conditionally approved.
The petition makes no judgment as to whether the application should be approved or refused. It is purely a request for the correct procedure to be followed by referring the matter to the Planning Committee.
SSE Deputy Chairman Brian Ross said: “There is an overwhelming case for the UDC Planning Committee to have another look at this. It’s not only their legal entitlement but also their legal duty to do so. It is imperative that UDC officers do not issue final approval to Stansted Airport before allowing the Planning Committee an opportunity to take stock of the situation.”
The petition is due to be presented by SSE to an Extraordinary Meeting of the Full Council commencing at 4.00pm on Friday 28 June, the purpose of which is to discuss next steps with regard to the Stansted Airport planning application. The meeting is open to the public.
The petition is still open for signing http://chng.it/QGYQV46xvr but only individuals who are electors in the district of Uttlesford are eligible to sign.
- The link for the petition is http://chng.it/QGYQV46xvr or you can access it from the home page on the SSE website at stanstedairportwatch.com. Note that UDC recommended SSE to use the change.org website because the Council does not itself have a facility for on-line petitions.
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