28th April 2014

Tribute to Chris Bennett – 1943-2014


by Peter Sanders, SSE Chairman

You will be saddened to hear of the death of Chris Bennett, who died after a short illness on Easter Sunday. Chris was a leading member of Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE).

Chris was SSE’s first expert on noise until he left the area in 2007. He made an outstanding contribution to SSE’s response to the Government’s first consultation paper in 2002/03. The powerful critique that he built up of the Government’s inadequate method of measuring the onset of significant community noise annoyance and the standards it applied, though rejected by the Government at the time, has proved over the years to be well grounded, so much so that change now seems to be inevitable.

Chris went on to build up SSE’s case against BAA’s proposals in the Stansted G1 Public Inquiry in 2007, and his appearance before the Planning Inspector helped to establish SSE’s reputation for reasonable- ness, clear thinking and high level analysis.

We also benefited from his wisdom and expertise as a member of SSE’s Executive Committee. We always knew that whatever he said would have been carefully considered and based upon sound evidence. More than that, Chris was unfailingly courteous, responding readily to every request for help and advice, and he had a delightfully sharp sense of humour. It was a source of great pleasure and satisfaction to him that Stansted was not shortlisted for the extra runway in the south east which the Airports Commission believes will be necessary by 2030.

Our sympathies go to all his family, but above all to his partner, Joan, who was a great support to him throughout his work for SSE and over the years. A funeral service and celebration of Chris’s life will be held at Cambridge Crematorium at 12:15 pm on Friday 2nd May.

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