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Stansted expansion legal, says judge

A High Court Judge has ruled that the Government’s decision to approve permission for an extra ten million passengers a year at Stansted Airport was legal.

Protestors objecting to the expansion of London’s Stansted Airport lost a legal challenge against the government decision to allow flight capacity to rise by 10 percent

The decision by Justice Sir Thane Forbes follows a four day hearing at the end of February. Campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) is seeking leave to appeal.

SSE welcomed the Judge’s ruling that the impact of the additional aircraft noise which would ensue from the expansion of Stansted is a legitimate consideration to be taken into account during the decision-making process.  However, SSE believes it is illogical for the Judge to uphold the original decision when the evidence suggests that the noise impacts were not properly taken into account by the Government when reaching its decision to approve the extra 10 million passengers a year at Stansted.

SSE say it is also concerned about the Judge’s decision that the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions, however substantial, could be disregarded in the decision to approve the extra flights as it appears to mean that these wider environmental impacts of airport expansion do not need to be taken into account when deciding whether planning permission should be granted. 

“This High Court action was never simply about winning or losing,” said SSE Campaign Director Carol Barbone.  “Our primary concern was to ensure that our main battle against a second Stansted runway was not prejudiced by the wording of the original decision.  However, today’s ruling seems to make matters even less clear than they were before.  That is why we are seeking leave to appeal.”

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