Essex

Stansted Airport plans delay 'puts jobs growth at risk'

Stansted Airport Image copyright Press Association
Image caption Stansted is the fourth busiest airport in the UK

Thousands of jobs could be put in jeopardy by a new delay to plans to expand passenger numbers at a major airport, a tourism board has said.

Uttlesford District Council voted to revisit previously approved plans to increase Stansted's passenger volume to 43 million per year from 38 million.

Visit East of England said the move could prevent tourism growth.

Council leader John Lodge said the authority encouraged expansion so long as residents did not suffer.

The proposals had been approved by the previous Conservative administration before it was ousted by a residents' association group in the May elections.

The newly-elected council agreed at the end of June the proposals must be reviewed again by the planning committee over issues largely around new environmental concerns and planning obligations.

Image caption Uttlesford District Council voted to revisit previously approved plans to increase Stansted's passenger volume

In June 2019, the government published a Tourism Sector Deal including the opportunity for regions to bid to become one of five Tourism Zones.

The zones would focus on increasing productivity in the visitor economy, extending the tourism season, investing in skills, and addressing "local market failures".

Pete Waters, executive director of Visit East of England, claimed the council was "wasting taxpayers' money on political sport".

"It could also jeopardise future opportunities to bid for funding at a time when the East of England needs to be doing everything it can to grow our economy," he said.

Council leader John Lodge said the authority was disappointed Visit East of England had not contacted it to discuss any issues.

"We are making sure local people don't suffer from the expansion of the airport," he said.

Stansted Airport said: "From the outset we have listened to the views of local people and used this feedback to develop a sustainable and responsible proposal.

"Our frustration at this delay is shared by the considerable number of local residents, businesses and staff."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites