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Protestors seek judicial review of Stansted expansion plans

Words: Huw Morris
Stansted Airport / Shutterstock_716323411

Campaigners have launched a legal challenge to plans for the expansion of Stansted Airport in Essex.

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has applied to the High Court for a judicial review of transport secretary Chris Grayling’s decision to allow the airport’s current application to be decided by Uttlesford District Council.

The group says the plans meet the legal definition of a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and should be handled by an expert team at the Planning Inspectorate.

“SSE's primary objective is to seek to safeguard the local community and local environment from unfettered and unsustainable airport expansion,” said Peter Saunders, who chairs the group. “Regrettably, legal proceedings are sometimes an unavoidable part of trying to achieve this objective but we must try to ensure a fair and thorough process for dealing with this planning application.”

Under the plan, which was submitted last February, flights at Stansted would increase by 44 per cent and the number of passengers by 66 per cent compared to 2017 levels.

SSE will ask the High Court for an expedited hearing, but even if this is granted the hearing may still not take place until next year. Although the group is contesting the validity of Uttlesford determining the application, it intends to continue submitting grounds for refusing the application to the council in the coming months.

Image credit | Shutterstock