13/03/2009

Another blow for anti-Stansted expansion campaigners

Posted in The countryside, Transport at 6:15 pm by henrysgauntlet

So today the campaigners learnt that their High Court battle to block the decision to expand Stansted Airport has been lost.

The case was actually a challenge that the government’s decision had not been made properly, but the Judge said criticisms of the way the matter had been handled were “unjustified and without substance”.   He has refused permission to appeal, despite the campaigners contention that the ruling makes matters less clear than they were before.  

The campaigners are opposing proposals for an extra 10 million passengers each year to use the single, existing runway at the airport.  They say the government is “steamrollering these plans every step of the way”.

This won’t be the end of the campaign by any means.   But it is a bad step.   Too many of our lovely Essex acres have disappeared under concrete for one purpose or another.   At the moment the airport, though extensive, is still surrounded by beautiful countryside.  

Essex must not be turned into a concrete jungle.   It is quite wrong that the quiet fields and woodlands will be no more, that the attractive houses and cottages will be demolished, that a village will disappear, that people will lose the homes they love in the place they want to live.

There are other airports where the locals want to see expansion.   Apparently Luton is one of them.   Then there are suggestions for an airport in the Thames estuary.   But will more airport provision be necessary in the future?   With a different economic climate and with the drive to reduce carbon emissions, what we have already may well prove to be sufficient.

Already if one is in the Stansted area there is a constant stream of aeroplanes taking off and landing.   There is seldom a space of more than a few moments without one coming down or another climbing away.

The government should look again, and should take the threat of expansion away from Stansted.

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