Uttlesford district council’s refusal to support the expansion of Stansted Airport has been branded as ‘short-sighted’ and detrimental to the future economic growth of the region, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Monday 27 January).

Unite, which has more than 2,500 members at the Essex airport and strongly supports the airport’s expansion as a major employment generator, hit out after the council’s planning committee refused permission for the next stage of Stansted’s development.

At its meeting on Friday (24 January), the planning committee refused permission on the grounds of noise, air quality and climate change.

Unite regional officer Mark Barter said: “We deplore this short-sighted decision by Uttlesford district council’s planning committee which will have an adverse impact on future employment growth at the airport and, more widely, it will have negative ripple effects across the region’s economy.

“We will be working with Stansted’s stakeholders, including the owner Manchester Airports Group (MAG), as to the best way that this flawed decision can be challenged.

“With an insecure economic climate and the need to provide quality, well paid jobs for current and future generations, Friday’s decision is a step backwards.
“From tourism to the high tech industry, businesses are desperate to have easy, efficient access to Stansted Airport’s increasing gateways to the world – and this now appears to have been put in jeopardy.

“There is no denying that the airport delivers substantial benefits to the Uttlesford, Essex and East of England economies. This comes in many forms, but most notably from the 12,000 on-site jobs, of which over 2,500 are Uttlesford residents.

“Planning permission would have created 5,000 more jobs at the airport and a further £1bn of economic value would also have been generated.”

The district council’s planning committee in November 2018 originally approved the application provisionally to increase the numbers using Stansted from 35 million passengers annually (for which there is already permission) to 43 million. It currently serves 28 million passengers a year.

However, in May 2019, the Residents for Uttlesford group took control of the council and decided to refer the original decision back to the planning committee which met on Friday. 


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065

Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org 

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.