October 10, 2008
THE 10M TAKEOFF ; Greens Attack Go-Ahead for Massive Airport Expansion
By AIDAN McGURRAN
NEW transport boss Geoff Hoon yesterday overruled objectors to wave through a huge expansion of Britain's third busiest airport.Stansted will handle an extra 10million passengers a year, despite fears from green campaigners that 23,000 more flights will cause huge pollution.
The National Trust has warned of disaster for Hatfield Forest, one of England's oldest woodlands.
Mr Hoon, who became Transport Secretary last week, overturned a local authority bar on the plan, after an appeal by airport operator BAA and a public inquiry. Stansted boss Stewart Wingate was delighted, saying: "This is great news for millions of travellers." But Jim Ketteridge leader of Uttlesford council which had refused permission, was dismayed.
He said: "It demonstrates the Government has failed to listen to the people of Uttlesford. Residents already find the level of aircraft noise extremely disturbing."
And the announcement left green groups claiming the Government's climate policy was a "shambles".
Anita Goldsmith, of Greenpeace, said: "Only this week the Government signalled it will adopt a tougher target to cut climatetrashing emissions."
Lib Dem Norman Baker added: "This is shows the gaping void between environmental rhetoric and reality." No decision has been taken on a second runway at the Essex airport.
35m Total number of passengers flying from Stansted after expansion
23,000 Extra flights per year from the same runway, a rise of nearly 10 per cent
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