28th May 2003
Vanishing Villages – Mass Event Planned for Sunday 29 June
Stop Stansted Expansion is organising a major end-of-consultation heritage event for Broxted (next to Stansted Airport) on Sunday 29 June. Entitled Vanishing Villages at Broxted Open Gardens, the day will be led by Terry Waite CBE who has pledged his support for the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign.
Vanishing Villages takes as its starting point the Open Gardens event being organized by Broxted Parish Council in support of the campaign against expansion. However, it has been dramatically increased in scope to mark the ‘last chance’ to make local voices count before the end of the consultation and represent the threat to the region as a whole.
Invitations to participate in what promises to be the most important heritage event of the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign are being issued to over 100 threatened parishes across the region. Meanwhile, organizers expect thousands of people from across Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to join in to reaffirm their commitment to protecting the heritage, environment and quality of life threatened by the government proposals which ride roughshod over so much that people hold dear.
The event comes just one day before the close of the government’s consultation into the future development of air transport which could lead to Stansted becoming the biggest airport in the world rather than remaining an ‘airport in the countryside’. The aim is to show not just what is under direct threat from the bulldozers but also to represent the broader community which faces major urbanisation and significant noise disturbance shattering the tranquility of many rural areas if the government decides to create an airport the same size as or even double that of Heathrow at Stansted.
Many local gardens are being opened for the day to highlight the threat they face from expansion. Meanwhile, a five mile walking circuit around Broxted, taking in selected properties, farms and fields and offering stunning views of local countryside is being organized. Shuttle buses will provide a service for those who want to make the tour but whose legs won’t let them walk all the way.
The route will be liberally sprinkled with stalls, photographic and local history exhibitions, displays, children’s activities and refreshments to highlight the threat to the irreplaceable heritage of the region. Letter writing and questionnaire completion points will also be set up for anyone who has not yet made their views known to the government to do so before the consultation ends the following day.
“Vanishing Villages at Broxted Open Gardens” – An Event To Mark The End Of The Consultation Sunday 29 June, 12 noon – 6pm. £4 entry fee to participating gardens for adults (children free; dogs welcome in most gardens); circular walks and events along the way are free. Stop Stansted Expansion T 01279 870558 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE TO EDITORS ON THE RISK TO HERITAGE:
- An additional one, two or three extra runways at Stansted would mean increasing the size of the current airport site by up to two and a half times to nearly 5000 acres, devouring good quality agricultural land and countryside.
- Three extra runways would mean the destruction of 326 homes, 64 Grade II and one Grade II* Listed Buildings, including many fine examples of thatched and half-timbered buildings. Two scheduled ancient monuments (Waltham Manor and The Grange) would also disappear, even if only one extra runway were to be added. Under the proposals for three extra runways, Grade I Listed Building Warish Hall and Takeley Priory, which lies in its grounds, could also be lost. Meanwhile, vast swathes of ancient woodland, lanes and hedgerows – the setting for many other historic houses just beyond the perimeter of the proposed new runways – would disappear forever, vastly diminishing their charm.
- More broadly, however, expansion would rock the region which would change dramatically as a result of the development that would be needed to serve an airport as big as or up to double the size that Heathrow is today.