Stansted Airport expansion rejected by Uttlesford council

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Stansted arrivals terminalImage source, Stansted Airport
Image caption,
Plans for the new arrivals terminal have been put on hold

Expansion plans for Stansted Airport have been rejected by councillors.

Officers at Uttlesford District Council had recommended approval of proposals to increase the Essex airport's passenger cap to 43 million a year.

But at the council's special planning committee, members rejected the scheme, 10 votes against with two abstentions.

Airport bosses said they were disappointed the council had ignored the advice of its own officers.

An airport spokesman said: "From the outset, we have listened to local communities to put forward an application that delivers the benefits of growth and a comprehensive package of mitigation measures to benefit local communities."

He said the airport will look at the "comments made by the planning committee before deciding our next steps".

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Stansted currently handles 28 million passengers a year

Originally the council approved the plan, but after the Residents for Uttlesford group took control from the Conservatives in May, the decision was referred back to the committee.

Residents for Uttlesford leader of the council John Lodge said: "Expanding Stansted up to the size of Gatwick is unnecessary as it can continue to be a major employer and contributor to the regional economy without this expansion."

Denise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, said: "It is extremely disappointing that Uttlesford's councillors have once again adopted a negative attitude towards Stansted's ambitions for the future."

Council officers had said there were no new material considerations to justify a different decision from the one made in November 2018 when the plans were approved.

Stansted currently handles 28 million passengers a year and already has permission to increase capacity to 35 million.

The airport had offered to invest £35m in the local area, including on transport, soundproofing for homes on the flight path and homeowner relocation.

Plans for a new £150m arrivals terminal were put on hold last year.

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