Stansted airport expansion 'unwanted' says Essex council
Plans to expand Stansted Airport into a four-runway "super-hub" are "unwanted and unviable", Essex County Council has told the Airports Commission.
Airport owners the Manchester Airports Group (Mag) believes its capacity could rise from 17.5 million to 160 million a year to meet growing passenger demand.
Council leader David Finch said the giant super-hub plans were "completely unacceptable to Essex residents".
The airport said the proposal was one of "a number of long-term options".
Mag's expansion plans were submitted to the government-appointed Airports Commission, headed by former Financial Services Authority chairman Sir Howard Davies, in July.
It is reviewing how the UK might expand its airport capacity in south-east England.'Infrastructure investment'
Mag's proposals include an additional runway, which could increase Stansted's capacity to between 70 to 90 million passengers a year, or building a four-runway airport with a capacity of up to 160 million passengers.
An airport spokesperson said: "We can double the number of flights today by 130,000 without any need for significant investment in new infrastructure and have submitted a number of long-term options for consideration by the Airports Commission."
Mr Finch said: "The UK does not have the time or the money to waste on unpractical or undeliverable schemes that could suck up a sum of taxpayer's money equivalent to twice the UK's defence budget.
"Any proposal for a giant super-hub airport at Stansted is completely unacceptable to the council and Essex residents."
The council has told the commission it supports "sensible growth" and accepts additional runway capacity is "likely to be inevitable in the long term".
Mr Finch added: "If ministers in London do impose further capacity on our airport, they need to know that a bill comes with that.
"We would need assurances that the environmental impact would be minimised and that there would be massive investment in road and rail infrastructure for Essex."