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Stansted airport expansion approved

[March 13th 2008]

The High Court has rejected an appeal by the Stop Stansted Expansion group about the government’s decision to expand Stansted airport.

Last October the government ruled that capacity at Stansted could increase from 241,000 flights a year to 264,000, and passenger numbers from 25 million to 35 million.

The Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) lobby group mounted a legal challenge, but this has now been overturned. The SSE questioned the government’s decision that CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions and the noise impact on local residents caused by expansion could be disregarded.

SSE’s legal challenge was supported by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Woodland Trust, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Aviation Environment Federation, HACAN Clear Skies [Heathrow], ReStoreUK, Ramblers Association, and the World Development Movement.

“If allowed to go unchallenged, the Government's decision could have national repercussions as well as impacts on the case against a second runway at Stansted which is due to be heard at a Public Inquiry currently scheduled to begin in April,” the SSE said in a press release before the High Court hearing.

Stansted airport has today welcomed the High Court decision. “The social and economic case for G1 remains strong, and our plans were endorsed by a full and independent public inquiry and a recommendation for approval by the Planning Inspector,” commented Stansted airport commercial and development director, Nick Barton.

“As a result, this is a very good day for the millions of people who need and want to fly to visit their friends and family, go on well-earned holidays or travel on business,” Barton continues.

“The decision secures our future and ensures we can continue investing in the airport to deliver sustainable improvements in the passenger experience and airline operations through modern facilities and better service standards.

"We are, and always have been, well aware and sympathetic to the sincerely held concerns of local residents - our neighbours - and others, and we will continue to work hard to deliver the huge social and economic benefits the airport provides while managing its impacts in the most sustainable and responsible way possible,” Barton concludes.

Written by: Nick Purdom