19th September 2003
Shock New Airport-Related Housing Proposals for Local Area
A massive 47,700 new houses would be needed locally if an additional runway was approved for Stansted, according to a new report from Essex County Council, due to be published on Monday 21 September. The study shows that expansion of Stansted Airport would compound existing pressures for more houses arising from anticipated local population growth.
The report ‘A Study of the Possible Urbanisation Implications of the Potential Expansion Options for Stansted”1, prepared by consultants, Colin Buchanan and Partners, sets out a preferred strategy for future housing development within a 30 minute ‘drive time’ from Stansted Airport.
The strategy proposes 14,600 new houses for Harlow, 7,300 for Stansted Mountfitchet and 5,800 for Great Dunmow. It also proposes a new town near Felsted and another between Elsenham and Henham. These two new towns would have almost 7,000 new houses each. A further 2,000 new houses would be added to Bishop’s Stortford, 1,000 at Braintree and another 1,000 houses at other sites in the local area. In addition:
* The proposals for Harlow would increase its population by 50%2 with massive new housing development to the north and west of the town.* Stansted Mountfitchet would grow from a population of 6,000 today to a town of 24,000 people and would be almost joined with Bishop’s Stortford.
* Great Dunmow would treble in size from 7,000 to a population of 21,000 with new housing developments to the north east, north west and south of the town.
“The report demonstrates that we face severe housing pressures in the years ahead and the last thing we need is another Heathrow on our doorstep on top of this or this whole area would become an urban sprawl,” said Norman Mead, Chairman of Stop Stansted Expansion. “This is a wake-up call that we must all resist BAA’s expansion plans and persuade the Government that it must not allow additional runways to be built,” he continued.
BAA has asked the Government to give approval for up to two additional runways at Stansted and the Government will announce its decisions about future airport policy in a White Paper, expected in December.
Essex County Council commissioned the report because it is obliged to make long term provision for the County’s new housing needs. If the Government approves an additional runway at Stansted, the housing implications must be provided for within the regional planning framework.
The consultants also produced housing projections for two and three additional runways at Stansted. These include a proposal for a third new town at the Hadhams. Norman Mead described these higher projections as “completely unthinkable”.
Norman Mead concluded: “Essex County Council will have very little choice in the matter if the Government approves an extra runway for Stansted. That ‘s the battle we must win and to do that we must continue to bombard our MPs with letters and show our opposition in every way we can not least at the Horseshoes Hike protest walk on Sunday 28 September.”
Thousands are expected to take part in the ‘Horseshoes Hike’ which will be launched at the Three Horseshoes Pub in Duton Hill (between Dunmow and Thaxted) at 11am by Terry Waite CBE and a ‘surprise’ VIP. The seven mile walk will end at Molehill Green where there will be a giant BBQ and a short rally at 3pm. Further information on the event is available from Stop Stansted Expansion T 01279 870558 or www.stopstanstedexpansion.com.
1 The full title of the report is “Stansted/M11 Corridor Development Options Study: A Study of the Possible Urbanisation Implications of the potential expansion options for Stansted. Draft Final Report (Consultation Draft)”, Colin Buchanan and Partners, September 2003.
2 Population estimates are based on the national average of 2.4 persons per household (2001 Census).