29th December 2005

Major public meeting to oppose second runway plans

Rhodes Centre, Thursday 12 January at 8.00pm

MPs, Peers and senior councillors from across Herts and Essex are preparing to join Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) at a major public meeting on Thursday 12 January (8pm) at Bishop Stortford’s Rhodes Centre to mobilise local opposition to BAA’s latest proposals for a second Stansted runway.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the event which will be chaired by local MP Mark Prisk and addressed by Saffron Walden MP Sir Alan Haselhurst and SSE Chairman Peter Sanders. The main part of the meeting will consist of a question and answer session providing members of the public with an opportunity to ask questions and express their views on BAA’s latest proposals.

SSE has already signalled its outright opposition to BAA’s plans, describing the prospect of any second Stansted runway as an environmental catastrophe and pledging to fight the airport developer’s proposals tooth and nail, a view that has been echoed by virtually every local MP and local councillor.

In addition, SSE Campaign Director Carol Barbone has condemned BAA for issuing hundreds of thousands of blatantly misleading consultation packs which fail to include details of new flight paths, road and rail schemes and health and environmental impacts as if they were irrelevant to the siting proposals. “The fact that the community has repeatedly made clear its overwhelming opposition to any second runway, whatever its location, is no excuse for BAA to put forward a sub-standard consultation.”

Ms Barbone continued: “BAA is being deceitful, trying to hoodwink people into thinking that expansion wouldn’t make much difference to their lives or to future generations. BAA should wake up to the fact that it has been rumbled and needs to be truthful in describing the bigger picture.”

The public meeting will take place at 8pm on Thursday 12 January at the Rhodes Centre, South Road, Bishop’s Stortford CM23 3JG. Members of the public seeking further information or directions should contact SSE Campaign Office on 01279 870558 or see the map link at www.stanstedairportwatch.com.

The SSE event is one of a number of meetings and activities being held on the same evening by airport communities in the south east affected by expansion proposals, including Heathrow, Luton and Gatwick.


  • In addition to Mark Prisk MP (Hertford & Stortford) and Sir Alan Haselhurst MP (Saffron Walden), Oliver Heald MP (North Herts) and Baroness McIntosh have already accepted SSE’s invitation to attend the meeting, together with Uttlesford District Council Leader Cllr Mark Gayler and Cllr Mike Carver, Leader of East Herts District Council. Essex County Council Vice Chairman Cllr Gerard McEwen and Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning, Environment and Culture Cllr Peter Martin will also be attending, together with Cllr Derrick Ashley, the Member responsible for Strategic Planning and Partnerships at Hertfordshire County Council.
  • Broadcast media wishing to organise interviews with speakers in connection with the meeting or any media who would like to reserve seats at the event should contact Carol Barbone on M 0777 552 3091 or cbarbone@mxc.co.uk.
  • Photographs will be available on request following the meeting for print media.

Campaigning to ensure Stansted Airport's authorised operations stay below harmful limits