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Lib Dems call on Government to review planning permission for Stansted Airport expansion

Liberal Democrats in Uttlesford have called on the Government to review “flawed, unsound and irrational” approval for Stansted Airport to expand.

Last month members of the district council’s planning committee were deadlocked along party lines over Manchester Airports Group’s application to raise the cap on annual passenger numbers from 35 million to 43m – a 56% increase on the current figure of 27.6m – until Conservative committee chairman Cllr Alan Mills used his casting vote to grant permission.

On Tuesday (Dec 4) the Lib Dems said that they had written to James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, saying that the decision-making process followed by the committee was flawed.

They said that any decision to expand Stansted should have been made at a strategic level as part of analysis of extra capacity planned by all airports in the South East in light of national aviation policy.

Climate change and the health impacts of noise were also ignored, they alleged.

Uttlesford Lib Dem group leader and Stansted councillor Alan Dean, said: “The decision was made on national party political grounds. It should have been based on local planning policies, including noise, road and rail congestion.

"Only Conservative councillors voted for expansion. They asked very few questions and seemed to be following pre-determined instructions.

"Using Brexit to justify airport expansion is a mockery of the principle of local, impartial decision-making.”

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