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Stansted Airport puts pressure on Uttlesford District Council to follow legal advice and issue planning permission

Stansted Airport. (13123708)
Stansted Airport. (13123708)

Stansted Airport bosses are urging Uttlesford District Council to follow legal advice this afternoon (Friday, June 28) and rubberstamp planning permission for 43m passengers a year.

The authority’s own officers are warning members they should ringfence the authority's £2 million Strategic Initiative Fund in preparation for a potential legal appeal if they disregard the legal counsel.

The council is holding an extraordinary meeting at 4pm to receive a petition from Stop Stansted Expansion, signed by more than 1,600 people, calling on the permission to be referred back to the planning committee because of concerns about the conditions agreed as part of the approval.

In November, the authority agreed to increase the airport’s passenger cap from 35m to 43m. It currently has more than 28m passengers a year.

The council will then discuss a motion, calling on the chief executive Dawn French and fellow officers not to issue the planning permission without further “independent legal corroboration” that the council’s legal position is sound.

A report to the council concludes that there is “no impediment to issue consent”. It also sets out the potential adverse financial implications to the council of defending any subsequent appeal.

It concludes “there have been no new material considerations and/or changes in circumstances since November 14 that would justify reconsideration of the decision taken by the planning committee on that date”.

The airport is reminding councillors that its plans do not include any increase in the total number of flights permitted at the airport, and would be delivered within a lower noise envelope than legally required.

The proposals are expected to deliver 5,000 new jobs at the region’s biggest employer.

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