ANNUAL REVIEW 2016
In a momentous political year which witnessed the Brexit vote followed by the appointment of an almost completely new Government ministerial team, there was widespread speculation that the prolonged period of political indecision on the location of London's next runway might continue until 2017. Against that backdrop SSE continued to maintain a low profile, our main objective being to keep Stansted off the radar screens pending that Government decision. Finally, on 25 October 2016, after more than four years of deliberation and prevarication, the Government announced that Heathrow was its preferred location for a new runway, to add to its two existing runways. The choice of Heathrow was in line with the recommendation of the independent Airports Commission, in July 2015, made after three years of studying the options.
It was obviously a great relief to our own local community that Stansted had not been chosen but there was no sense of jubilation. The local communities around Heathrow now have a fight on their hands and there will doubtless be many legal challenges along the way. There are many who believe that a third Heathrow runway will never be built. It is also important to remember that there is still a great deal of scope for Stansted to expand on the existing runway, and with Heathrow and Gatwick virtually full, there will be real pressure to utilise Stansted's available capacity over the next ten years, which is the time it will take to build a new runway at Heathrow.
Apart from shadowing Government airports policy throughout 2016 and working quietly to try to keep Stansted out of the frame, SSE also continued to pursue a number of local issues, including the change in flight paths, the long outstanding issue of homeowner compensation arising from past expansion of the airport, the sale of airport-owned houses and airport planning applications. We had mixed success on these issues, as follows:
Changes in Departure Routes
During the latter part of 2014, and throughout 2015, SSE had sought to persuade NATS, and then the CAA and finally the Department for Transport (DfT), not to proceed with proposals first announced by NATS in the summer of 2014 to transfer all southerly daytime departures from Stansted (the 'Detling' route) to the easterly departure route ('Clacton'). Despite all SSE's objections and a consultation exercise which showed overwhelming local opposition, NATS implemented the changes in February 2016. Unsurprisingly, there has been an explosive increase in the number of noise complaints from communities to the east of the airport who have been most adversely affected by the changes to Stansted departure routes.
The CAA will commence a four month Post-Implementation Review of the Stansted departure route changes in February 2017. SSE will use this opportunity to seek to reverse the changes and, if that is not possible, to propose alternative solutions to mitigate the adverse noise impacts.
For almost 15 years, Stansted Airport Ltd (STAL) had been refusing to entertain homeowner compensation claims arising from the expansion of the airport above 8 million passengers per annum (mppa). STAL argued that it had no statutory obligation to pay compensation until all the works listed in its 1999 'Phase 2' planning consent had been completed. The last small part of these works had been repeatedly postponed and was thus described as the 'golden rivet' loophole.
Following a Lands Tribunal ruling on a similar case in late 2015, and a further Lands Tribunal hearing on a Stansted local resident's case in March 2016, SSE concluded that STAL had no legal justification for refusing to start dealing with homeowner compensation claims. SSE notified STAL to this effect but STAL refused to alter its stance. It was only when SSE instructed barristers to commence legal proceedings that STAL capitulated and agreed to introduce compensation arrangements. At time of writing it remains to be seen whether STAL will now finally act fairly towards local homeowners whose properties have been devalued as a result of the historic expansion of the airport.
At the start of 2016, STAL owned some 270 houses, mostly purchased in connection with its plans for a second runway. When STAL abandoned its second runway planning application in May 2010 SSE immediately began pressing STAL to start selling these houses back into private ownership. We argued that the sale of the houses should take place gradually so as not to flood the market and we argued for the houses to be sold as and when they became vacant. All this fell on deaf ears. STAL continued to re-let properties which became vacant and it continued to spurn any tenant who expressed an interest in buying.
Suddenly and inexplicably, in October 2016, STAL reversed its position and seemed in a great rush to sell all 270 houses. Tenants were written to and asked if they wanted to buy, and where the tenant either did not want to buy, or could not afford to buy, or would not agree to pay STAL's asking price, letters threatening eviction started to appear in the post. STAL's approach was thoughtless and insensitive and, inevitably, it attracted immediate media attention, causing STAL considerable embarrassment and reputational damage. It also led to the establishment of an Airport Tenants Action Group (ATAG). STAL was forced to retreat and to re-think its approach to selling the houses. There is now regular dialogue with the ATAG with a view to dealing with the sale of the houses in a more sensitive and flexible manner.
In late December 2016, STAL submitted a planning application for a new arrivals building to be built between the main airport terminal and the Radisson Hotel. This is as a replacement for a planning approval already in place for an extension to the existing terminal of two new bays. Having reviewed the application, SSE decided not to object in principle, but to seek assurances relating to the transfer of planning conditions and convenience of access to public transport.
In 2016 Stansted handled more passengers than ever before, catering for 24.3m passengers, which surpasses the previous record of 23.8m set in 2007. Significantly, it required 191,500 air transport movements (ATMs) to accommodate the 2007 passenger throughput whereas a much lower number of ATMs - 166,200 - accommodated the higher passenger throughput in 2016. With oil prices still at relatively low levels, and with Heathrow and Gatwick close to full capacity, it is likely that Stansted will see a further increase in passengers and ATMs in 2017. Stansted currently has planning consent to handle 35mppa and 264,000 ATMs and so there is still a great deal of spare capacity. Even so, it is understood that in the course of 2017 STAL intends to submit a planning application to increase the present 35mppa limit to 43-45mppa.
Government proposals for the regulation of night flights at Stansted over the next five years had been expected towards the end of 2016 but publication was delayed until 12 January 2017. At time of writing SSE is in the midst of preparing its response to this consultation and providing guidance to local district, parish and town councils, as well as individual local residents, on how to respond. With another major Government consultation expected shortly on its statutory requirement to produce a National Policy Statement for UK airports, and yet another due later this year on UK the Government's Airspace and Noise Policy, it is already clear there will be no shortage of work for SSE to do in the year ahead.
Stop Stansted Expansion
ANNUAL REVIEW 2015
By comparison with the non-stop campaigning style that has characterised SSE almost since the beginning, 2015 has been a quiet year. In order to fully understand the reasons for this, let me briefly recap on the recent history of Government aviation policy.
More than three years ago, the Government ducked the issue of new runway capacity at one or more of London's airports by setting up an independent 'Airports Commission', comprising a panel of experts chaired by Sir Howard Davies, to examine all the options and to publish a final report with recommendations in the summer of 2015. The timing of the final report was designed to avoid a potentially divisive political debate on the issue because the Government insisted that the Commission must not publish its final report until after the May 2015 general election.
SSE engaged fully with the Commission and made 11 separate evidence submissions setting out the case against a second Stansted runway and we were rewarded for this major effort in the Commission's interim report. Stansted was not even included on the Commission's short list. It was to be a straight choice between Heathrow and Gatwick.
During the first six months of 2015, for SSE it was largely a case of watching and waiting whilst the owners of Heathrow and Gatwick airports pursued high profile, multi-million pound campaigns aimed at promoting their own new runway proposals and attacking one another.
The general election came and went on 7 May and still the waiting went on. It was not until 1 July that the Airports Commission published its final report, and still the waiting went on.
The Government said that it needed time to study the Commission's recommendations. The Prime Minister at first promised a decision by the autumn and then said there would be a decision by the end of the year. And so we all continued to wait - knowing that the Commission was only advisory and the Government would ultimately decide whatever it wanted to decide.
Finally, on 11 December, the Government made its decision, which was to say that yet more studies were required before a final decision could be made! We're now told that a final decision should be made in the summer. From a political perspective, this neatly postpones the decision until after the May 2016 election for a new London mayor.
The delay could be even longer. Just last week, when asked when a final decision on the Airport Commission's recommendations would be made, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the following: "I hope later this year. We have said we would hope to move some way by the summer of this year." He then added: "There's lots of other things which are going on in the political spectrum - if there's a referendum this summer, and the like. But I would hope by the summer of this year we will be able to make progress."
The politically charged nature of the debate about airport expansion was abundantly clear at all the main party conferences last autumn where SSE was once again represented. A key message which we heard time and time again at all the party conferences was that current airports policy was far too 'London-centric' and that more emphasis needed to be placed on encouraging the development of regional airports. It seems however that the Government is not sympathetic to this argument.
So that's how matters presently stand, which is not very different from where matters stood 12 months ago, and so we still cannot assume that Stansted is off the hook as regards a new runway. It currently seems to be a choice between Heathrow and Gatwick but we know very well from past experience that Government policy can change almost in the blinking of an eye.
Apart from keeping closely in touch with the political vacillation on airports policy throughout 2015, SSE has continued to seek to safeguard the interests of the local community on flight path issues, crossing swords with both NATS and the CAA in the process. In addition, SSE has continued to press Stansted Airport Ltd, on issues such as night flights, returning the airport-owned housing stock to private ownership and dealing with the long outstanding issue of homeowner compensation arising from the expansion of the airport.
Meanwhile, Stansted Airport last year recorded its busiest year since 2007, handling a total of 22.6m passengers, an increase of 13.0% on the previous year. The number of ATMs (flights) were up 9.6% to 157,200. A staggering 85% of Stansted's passengers are now Ryanair.
With low oil prices driving down the cost of air travel, it seems almost inevitable that Stansted will this year exceed its previous peak of 24m passengers, achieved in 2007. However, it is worth noting that it took 193,700 ATMs to cater for those 24m passengers in 2007 and, on current load factors, it would now take 30,000 fewer ATMs to handle that same number of passengers. Stansted, of course, has planning consent to handle 35m passengers a year and there is little doubt that the airport is technically capable of handling considerably more than that. Whether this would be environmentally acceptable is quite another matter.
As we enter 2016, we know to expect some significant developments and we know there will be work to do to seek to safeguard the interests of our local community. And so our campaign must continue. Long may it remain at a less frenetic pace than in the past!
Many thanks for your ongoing support.
Chairman, Stop Stansted expansion
ANNUAL REVIEW 2014
As 2014 began, the very welcome news that Stansted was not on the Airports Commission's shortlist for an additional runway, announced just prior to Christmas, was still sinking in. We did however recognise that, although the spotlight was now on Heathrow and Gatwick, we were not entirely out of the woods.
The Airports Commission would not be producing its final report until the summer of 2015, just after the next General Election, and there was always the possibility that the Commission's views might change. Moreover, the Commission was only advisory and it would be down to the next Government to make the final decisions. A further concern was that the Commission had indicated that its final report might also make a preliminary recommendation for another additional runway in the South East or the Midlands during the period 2030-2050 and that Stansted could be a candidate for this.
It was however very clear, right from the start of 2014, that the runway capacity debate would now focus very largely on Heathrow and Gatwick for the next 18 months at least. It was time for SSE to adopt a low profile and whilst keeping closely in touch with every aspect of the work of the Airports Commission and its political context, this was a time for SSE's campaigning to become more subdued. Thus, 2014 has largely been a year of watching and waiting.
* By early January the SSE Calendar has, once again, completely sold out.
* SSE hosts a debriefing seminar for local District Councillors and Parish and Town Councils to discuss the implications of the Airports Commission's interim report.
* MAG announces annual traffic figures for Stansted showing a throughput of 17.8 million passengers in 2013, an increase of 400,000 (2.2%) on 2012. The number of commercial flights in 2013 was 132,200, just 800 (0.6%) more than the previous year. By comparison, in its peak year (2007) Stansted handled 23.8 million passengers and 191,500 flights.
* Responding to a Department for Transport (DfT) consultation on night flying restrictions, SSE calls for Government action to gradually phase out all night flights at Stansted.
* SSE makes its ninth evidence submission to the Airports Commission, responding to the Commission's consultation on its Draft Appraisal Framework.
* SSE responds to a Department for Transport ('DfT') consultation on Airport Consultative Committees. SSE has a seat on the Stansted Airport Consultative Committee ('STACC') and, in responding to this DfT consultation, SSE's main plea is for ACCs to be made fully independent (including financially independent) of the airport operator.
* SSE attends Airports Commission seminar to discuss the Commission's work to date, the rationale behind its Interim Report and its programme of work for the next 12-15 months.
* Ryanair announces a significant expansion of its operations at Stansted which will take its market share at Stansted to around 80%. SSE expresses concern on the ground of 'too many eggs in one basket' and also criticises Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary for his wildly exaggerated claim of an extra 2,000 jobs.
* SSE is shocked and saddened by the death of Chris Bennett, one of its founder members and its former expert on aircraft noise. Chris was a leading member of SSE's 2007 Public Inquiry team and made an outstanding contribution to SSE over the years.
* British Airways World Cargo, which had operated 3 very large Boeing 747 freighters from Stansted for many years - by day and night - decides to cease its operations at Stansted.
* At the Stansted Airport Consultative Committee ('STACC'), SSE again raises the issue of the airport's ongoing ownership of some 270 properties around the airport - acquired in connection with the plans for a second Stansted runway. SSE continues to press MAG for a timetable for these homes to be returned to private ownership.
* The night noise relief arising from the ending of British Airways World Cargo flights at Stansted is short-lived as Manston Airport suddenly closes and its two remaining cargo airlines decide to transfer their operations to Stansted.
* Airports Commission publishes discussion on improving the utilisation of the UK's existing airport capacity. In view of the potential implications for Stansted, SSE starts work on preparing its response to the Commission.
* NATS launches a consultation on changing the use of the existing departure routes from Stansted, proposing a doubling of day-time easterly departures and the phasing out of day-time southerly departures. NATS claims there will be net environmental benefits but SSE urges caution, insisting that there must be clear and compelling benefits for local residents before any changes are implemented.
* SSE makes its tenth evidence submission to the Airports Commission, providing a detailed response - very much focused on issues relating to Stansted - to the Commission's discussion paper on improving the utilisation of the UK's existing airport capacity.
* Having carefully weighed the potential benefits and disbenefits of NATS' proposed changes to the operation of Stansted departure routes, SSE concludes that there would be a net adverse impact on the local community and so calls upon NATS to postpone any changes until they can be assessed in the context of the major airspace redesign planned by NATS for 2018/19.
* SSE campaign trailer has no shortage of visitors at the Woodfest weekend in Hatfield Forest - just one of the many outings for the SSE trailer and its support team at local festivals, fêtes and shows in 2014.
* MAG publishes its draft 'Sustainable Development Plan' for Stansted setting out its long term expansion proposals for Stansted based on maximum use of the existing runway.
* SSE attends the Labour and Tory party conferences so as to keep closely in touch with the political debate on new runway capacity for the south east and also to maintain its links with key politicians, political journalists and leading figures in the aviation industry.
* SSE attends the Liberal Democrat party conference and is active in lobbying for no change to the Lib Dem policy of opposing a second Stansted runway. A motion had been put forward which would have softened the party's opposition to expansion at Stansted. Fortunately this motion was defeated by a vote on the floor of the Conference Hall.
* Launch of the SSE Community Calendar 2015 - the thirteenth year that the SSE Calendar has been produced. Apart from actual printing costs, it is produced and sold entirely by volunteers, with all proceeds going to help fund the SSE campaign.
* SSE responds to the consultation on MAG's draft Sustainable Development Plan for Stansted making 15 key recommendations for improving Stansted's sustainability.
* Despite overwhelming local opposition, NATS announces its intention to seek Civil Aviation Authority approval to implement its proposed changes to the operation of Stansted departure routes. NATS received over 400 responses to its consultation, 82% of which opposed the proposed changes.
* SSE commemorates the tenth anniversary of the SSE Wood at Broxted Hill Farm with a ceremony at the Wood where a tenth anniversary tree is planted by SSE Chairman Peter Sanders who also reads out a message of support from SSE Patron Terry Waite.
* SSE meets with economists from the Airports Commission and Department for Transport to discuss the Commission?s methodology for assessing the economic costs and benefits of airport expansion.
ANNUAL REVIEW 2013
* By the first week of January the SSE Calendar has completely sold out.
* BAA announces its 2013 traffic figures for Stansted showing a 2.0% year-on-year increase in
passengers to 17.8 million but this was still 6.0 million below its peak in 2007. The number of
flights in 2013 was 131,300, slightly down on 2012 and 60,000 down on Stansted's 2007 peak.
* BAA announces that it has reached agreement to sell Stansted Airport to the Manchester Airports Group
(MAG) for a price reported to be £1.5 billion.
* The Department for Transport (DfT) publishes new aviation forecasts for the UK to 2050 which signal
a major slowdown in the rate of growth to 2% a year, compared to the historic average
of 5%. Stansted is forecast to handle 26 million passengers in 2030 rising to 38 million in
2050, well within the capacity of its existing runway.
* The Airports Commission publishes its first guidance document setting out how it intends to go about its work, and it proposes a range of 'sift criteria' to help it determine the most suitable airport expansion options, in the event that it decides that more runway capacity is needed.
* SSE Chairman, Peter Sanders, writes to Airports Commission Chairman, Sir Howard Davies, expressing concern about one of the Commissioners, Geoff Muirhead, because of his close links with Stansted's new owners, MAG, having been its Chief Executive for 16 years.
* In a joint editorial in the British Medical Journal, SSE's Health Adviser, Professor Jangu Banatvala and a fellow academic give a stark warning about the health impacts of aviation arising from noise, pollution and the effect of aviation emissions on climate change.
* Airports Commission publishes discussion paper on Aviation Demand Forecasting.
* SSE responds to the Airport Commission's proposed sift criteria calling for landscape and cultural heritage factors to be given greater weight, and pressing for market demand and commercial viability to be included as key considerations from the outset.
* The Government publishes its long awaited Aviation Policy Framework. SSE brands this 'a hollow sham' because, after two years in the making, it contains no new policies for tackling the environmental impacts of aviation, particularly aircraft noise.
* SSE responds to the Airport Commission's Aviation Demand Forecasting paper pointing out a number of inconsistencies in the DfT forecasts and arguing that very little credibility could be attached to aviation forecasts beyond 2030 because there were so many uncertainties.
* Airports Commission publishes discussion paper on Aviation Connectivity and the Economy.
* SSE Chairman writes again to Sir Howard Davies regarding Geoff Muirhead's position on the Commission after it is learned that he continued to act as a highly paid ambassador for MAG until January 2013, i.e. even after he had been appointed to the Commission.
* Broxted quiz night raises over £1,300 for SSE funds.
* SSE responds to the Commission's Aviation Connectivity and the Economy discussion paper drawing a clear distinction between business and leisure travel and highlighting that less than 20% of UK aviation market is business travel, and less still at Stansted.
* Airports Commission publishes a discussion paper on Aviation and Climate Change.
* SSE responds to the DfT consultation on night flights calling for night flights at Stansted to be halved by 2019 and phased out completely in the longer term.
* Airports Commission publishes discussion paper on Airport Operational Models.
* House of Commons Transport Select Committee publishes its report on Aviation Strategy. SSE had submitted written evidence and had also - by invitation - given oral evidence to the Committee whose report concluded that there was no strong case for expanding Stansted. Instead, it favoured a third Heathrow runway and possibly a second Gatwick runway.
* SSE responds to the Commission's Aviation & Climate Change paper drawing attention in particular to the contradiction between accommodating unconstrained demand for aviation and meeting the UK's legally binding climate change targets.
* Airports Commission publishes its final sift criteria and details of the panel of experts who will assist the Commission in its examination of options.
* SSE Chairman writes again to Sir Howard Davies expressing mounting concern about the ongoing involvement of Geoff Muirhead as a key member of the Airports Commission.
* CAA launches a consultation on its new environmental duty. Having been instrumental in having a new environmental duty for the CAA included in the 2012 Civil Aviation Act, SSE asks for further discussions with the CAA and subsequently leads a delegation including its Heathrow and Gatwick counterparts to press the CAA to adopt a more pro-active approach.
* Airports Commission publishes discussion paper on Aviation Noise.
* SSE gives evidence at the Airports Commission's first public evidence session, the only local community group to be invited to do so.
* MAG submits proposals to the Airports Commission (i) for expanding Stansted to a two-runway airport and (ii) for expanding it to a four-runway hub, to replace Heathrow.
* SSE condemns MAG's proposals branding them "opportunistic, irresponsible and pointless".
* In view of the scale of MAG's expansion proposals for Stansted, SSE serves notice on the Secretary of State and the Airports Commission that if Geoff Muirhead is not removed from the Commission within fourteen days it will initiate legal proceedings to seek to force his removal.
* SSE responds to the Commission's Airport Operational Models paper highlighting the importance of regional airports and - again - calls for a less London-centric approach.
* Airports Commission publishes the full list of (over 50) proposals for new runways that it has received. Apart from MAG's proposals, London architects 'MAKE' have submitted plans for a four runway airport and London Mayor Boris Johnson has submitted proposals to develop Stansted into a five runway hub to replace Heathrow, which he has costed at £101 billion.
* Having received no response from either the Secretary of State or the Airports Commission regarding its call for the removal of Geoff Muirhead, SSE instructs barristers and solicitors to initiate a judicial review challenge against both the Secretary of State and the Commission.
* SSE campaign trailer receives a record number of visitors at the Countess of Warwick Show on August Bank Holiday weekend - just one of more than a dozen outings for the SSE trailer and its support team at local festivals, fêtes and shows in the course of the year.
* SSE makes a submission to the Airports Commission setting out its detailed response to MAG's proposals for up to three extra runways at Stansted.
* SSE responds to the Commission's Aviation Noise discussion paper highlighting the greater impact of aircraft noise on rural communities where background noise levels are very low.
* Secretary of State suddenly announces that, in view of MAG's proposals for extra runways at Stansted, and SSE's legal challenge, it has been decided - "by mutual consent" - that Geoff Muirhead will resign from the Commission with immediate effect.
* The 2014 SSE Community Calendar goes on sale across the region.
* SSE attends the Liberal Democrats and Labour Party conferences to brief key politicians and journalists and is given speaking engagements at a number of fringe meetings.
* SSE attends the Tory Party conference to brief MPs, MEPs and other key political and media contacts. SSE is again invited to speak at a number of fringe meetings.
* Airports Commission Chairman Sir Howard Davies sets out the Commission's Emerging Thinking. He reveals that the Commission has provisionally concluded that at least one extra runway will soon be needed in the South East, and he invites written comments.
* SSE submits its detailed response to the Airport Commission's Emerging Thinking.
* Notwithstanding Geoff Muirhead's resignation, SSE decides - on legal advice - to continue with its judicial review challenge, stemming from concerns that the former CEO of MAG was in a position to influence the Commission's work to favour expansion at Stansted.
* High Court announces that it will fast track SSE's judicial review challenge and hear the case on 22 November. As a result, the SSE core team spends much of the month working with barristers and solicitors putting together the detailed grounds for the legal challenge.
* London First, which represents many of the UK's leading businesses, echoes SSE's long-standing call for an independent noise ombudsman to help address the lack of trust and transparency between airports and local communities. Shortly afterwards, the Airports Commission follows suit by also recommending an independent 'Aviation Noise Authority'.
* High Court rules against SSE's judicial review challenge concluding that Geoff Muirhead's resignation fully addressed any concerns that we might have had.
* The SSE Community Calendar for 2014 proves to be a sell-out success.
* Airports Commission publishes its interim report and - much to our relief - Stansted is not on the short-list of options for a new runway in the period to 2030. In view of this outcome SSE decides not to seek to appeal the High Court's decision in its judicial review case.
ANNUAL REVIEW 2012
* Following sustained pressure from SSE and local parish councils, BAA's Chief Executive finally agrees that BAA will sell back "the entirety of its property portfolio" around Stansted
* National Air Traffic Service (NATS) announces that it will carry out another airspace review, having abandoned its earlier (2008) attempt to change flight paths and stacking areas in the face of fierce local opposition, including from SSE. Further details are still awaited.
* BAA announces its 2011 traffic figures for Stansted showing a 3% year-on-year decline in passengers to 18.0 million. This compares to 23.8 million passengers handled in 2007.
* The 2012 SSE Community Calendar completely sells out.
* The Competition Appeal Tribunal dismisses BAA's legal challenge to the ruling that it must sell Stansted, but just a few hours before the deadline BAA launches yet another appeal
* SSE writes to selected MPs seeking their support for amendments to the Civil Aviation Bill to place an environmental duty upon the CAA, in its role as economic regulator of airports
* SSE meets Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle and Shadow Aviation Minister Jim Fitzpatrick to discuss the Civil Aviation Bill and other aviation policy matters.
* SSE's two proposed amendments to the Civil Aviation Bill are narrowly defeated at House of Commons Committee Stage and so SSE switches its lobbying efforts to the House of Lords
* In his Budget speech the Chancellor says that the country must confront 'the lack of airport capacity in the south east' and he announces a postponement of the consultation on aviation policy, due to start in March, until 'later in the summer'.
* Responding to a CAA consultation, SSE calls for more action to tackle the environmental impacts of the aviation industry and says that fine words from the CAA will not be enough without measureable targets and timescales
* To counter industry claims that higher rates of Air Passenger Duty are damaging the UK economy SSE highlights the latest official statistics showing a sharp decline in the number of overseas holidays by UK residents whilst the number of foreign visitors coming to the UK was virtually unchanged, giving a £7 billion improvement in the UK's tourism trade balance
* The Court of Appeal agrees to hear yet another appeal by BAA against the requirement that it must sell Stansted. It is clear however that BAA is running out of legal options.
* SSE submits evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Aviation Group to assist with its inquiry into 'Maintaining the competitiveness of the UK in global aviation'.
* SSE briefs selected Peers ahead of the Civil Aviation Bill's Second Reading in the Lords, resulting in considerable support for the environmental amendments proposed by SSE
* Civil Aviation Bill moves to House of Lords Committee and, again, there is wide support for SSE's environmental amendments. The Government indicates that it will respond positively.
* The Government publishes its long awaited draft Aviation Policy Framework. SSE will now formulate its response, which it must submit by the end of October
* Unsurprisingly, the Court of Appeal dismisses BAA's latest legal challenge to the 2009 ruling by the Competition Commission that it must sell Stansted Airport
* SSE responds to UDC Draft Local Plan, objecting to the proposal to break with longstanding policy and allow land within the airport site to be used for non-airport purposes. Following discussions with UDC a revised proposal emerges which maintains the longstanding policy.
* In celebrating SSE's tenth birthday, Chairman Peter Sanders points out that once again the Government is reviewing the issue of airport capacity and that, if the threat of expanding Stansted re-emerges, SSE will resist it with as much determination as before
* BAA abandons its long-running legal battle to retain its ownership of Stansted Airport and says that it will now invite offers from potential purchasers. SSE welcomes this announcement.
* The All Party Parliamentary Aviation Group publishes its report, which refers directly to the evidence submitted by SSE on the economic and climate change impacts of aviation.
* The Government announces the setting up of the Airports Commission under Sir Howard Davies to examine whether additional airport capacity is required and if so where and when
* SSE attends the Liberal Democrat Party and Labour Party conferences and plays an active role in discussions on aviation. The LibDems vote overwhelmingly to reject any new runways in the south east, supporting a motion from Cambridge MP Julian Huppert.
* SSE's 2013 Community Calendar goes on sale across the region.
* Boris Johnson puts forward the option of developing Stansted as the UK's new hub airport with four runways, operating on a 24/7 basis. SSE dismisses his proposal as bonkers.
* SSE attends the Tory Party conference using the opportunity to brief MPs, MEPs and other key political and media contacts, particularly in relation to the Airports Commission
* A band of SSE supporters tidy up the SSE Wood at Broxted Hill, which remains a symbol of its resolve to prevent the development of a 'Super-Stansted'
* SSE highlights figures just published by the CAA showing that Stansted Airport handled fewer business passengers in 2010 than for 10 years, demonstrating that the business community is not exactly crying out for a four-runway mega-hub airport at Stansted
* SSE submits a comprehensive response to the Government's Draft Aviation Policy Framework
* SSE is invited to appear before the House of Commons Transport Committee in connection with its 'Aviation Inquiry', having submitted written evidence to the Committee in October
* SSE is invited to the inaugural meeting of the Airports Commission and has an opportunity to discuss directly with Sir Howard Davies how his Commission intends to go about its work
* The Government finally agrees that the CAA should have been given an environmental duty in its role as economic regulator and tables two amendments to the Civil Aviation Bill, almost exactly in line with the amendments that SSE had been proposing throughout the year
ANNUAL REVIEW 2011
* Birchanger Burns Supper is a roaring success and raises £1600 for SSE
* SSE responds to the West Anglia Timetable Consultation calling for commuters not to be
given a worse deal than Stansted Express passengers
* BBC Politics Show reveals the extent of BAA's neglect of property around Stansted,
including severe flooding at Woodgates End, Broxted
* New Stansted MD Nick Barton maintains house sell off strategy must remain secret
* Stansted flights hit ten year low in 2010 figures, while passenger numbers dropped
7 percent to 18.6m compared to 20m in 2009 and 24m in 2007
* SSE briefs Parliamentarians on the scandalous blight caused by BAA's continued
ownership of c300 homes around Stansted, including 39 listed buildings
* SSE Parish and Town Council Liaison Group established
SSE responds to Competition Commission consultation on whether any material changes
in circumstances should influence decision that Stansted must be sold
* SSE responds to Future Airspace Strategy consultation which will set the context for a
future consultation on the Terminal Control North airspace arrangements, due 2014
* Supreme Court refuses BAA permission to appeal against CC's sell-off requirement
* SSE makes representations to DCLG National Planning Policy Framework Review
* Competition Commission rejects BAA's latest attempt to cling onto Stansted with
provisional decision requiring sell-off
* BAA CEO states company's intention to hold onto G2 properties inside the G2 boundary
having gone through the 'tortuous process' of acquiring them - though Stansted's MD denies this
* Broxted Quiz held, raising nearly £1,200 for campaign funds
* Scoping paper launched by DfT into the shape of the forthcoming Aviation Policy
* SSE attends Parliamentary seminar 'Aviation in the 21st century: prospects for growth and
* SSE attends Conservative Spring Forum in Cardiff and meets the Prime Minister
* First SSE Parish and Town Council Liaison Group Meeting held
* Fundraising book sale for SSE raises over £650
* Spanish owner Ferrovial at last admits that it plans to sell the Essex airport - but BAA
issues a statement to the media denying this
* SSE meets the Shadow Transport Minister in Westminster
* Duton Hill Quiz held, raising £150 for SSE
* NWEEHPA, SSE's parent body, continues to press on BAA's continued property
ownership at the Stansted Airport Consultative Committee
* Duton Hill Mayday Funday held, nearing £500 raised for SSE funds
* Guidance issued to members and parish/town councils on responding to aviation policy
* CAA's Future Airspace Strategy takes on board responses by SSE and many local parish
councils in its review of responses to the consultation
* SSE makes representations to the EU Green Paper on VAT and the aviation industry
* SSE is finalist in Chartered Institute of Public Relations 'Best Public Affairs Campaign'
* SSE attends CAA regulatory review discussions for next quinquennium
* Lobbying for revision of two key EU noise directives commences
* SSE takes part in Hatfield Heath Festival
* SSE speaks at AirportWatch policy conference attended by Transport Minister
* SSE Parish and Town Council Liaison Group meeting held
* Tenth annual Runway Ramble takes place (Duton Hill to Thaxted)
* SSE responds to Air Passenger Duty consultation
* NWEEHPA, SSE's parent body, holds AGM
* Fundraising book sale for SSE raises almost £800
* SSE participates in Westminster seminar on "Preparing for a new direction in UK aviation"
* NWEEHPA, SSE's parent body, continues to press on BAA's continued property
ownership at the Stansted Airport Consultative Committee
* Government responds to Climate Change Committee's December 2009 Report on 'Reducing CO2 Emissions from UK Aviation' and publishes new air passenger forecasts
* SSE submits detailed response to Labour Party's Review of Transport Policy
* SSE runs information point and book stall at Countess of Warwick Country Show
* SSE attends the SERA AGM where Labour's environment group reaffirms commitment to
no new runways in the South East
* SSE attends Liberal Democrat and Labour Party conferences, presenting and commenting
on aviation issues at fringe meetings and to politicians
* SSE takes part in the Hatfield Forest WoodFest organised by the National Trust
* 2012 Community Calendars go on sale
* SSE submits comprehensive response to airports policy consultation after months of work
to develop this with the expert team of volunteers
* SSE attends Conservative party conference, playing an active role in aviation discussions
* SSE Campaign Office moves from Takeley to Molehill Green Village Hall
* Fundraising book sale for SSE raises over £700
* SSE serves a fundraising breakfast at the Takeley Farmers Market
* SSE wins PR Week Award for Best Public Affairs Campaign
* SSE's parent body continues to press on BAA's continued property ownership at the
Stansted Airport Consultative Committee
* NWEEHPA expresses concerns about National Planning Policy Framework in formal
response to the Government's consultation
* Henham Quiz raises over £650 for SSE
* Regulatory Review meetings at the CAA, attended by SSE, demonstrate antipathy of
airlines towards Stansted's management
* SSE submits evidence to the Transport Committee on the Civil Aviation Bill
* SSE invited to give oral evidence to the Transport Committee on the Civil Aviation Bill
* SSE leads delegation of airport community groups in a meeting with Transport Minister to
discuss concerns about Civil Aviation Bill
* Community Calendars sell out
* Website attracts 42,100 unique visitors during the course of the year and 819,700 hits
ANNUAL REVIEW 2010
* Political briefings held on rail issues in relation to the Stansted Express line depriving regular
commuters on the Cambridge line from access to new trains
* Birchanger Burns Supper raises £1,800 for SSE second runway fighting fund
* Figures for 2009 make a mockery of BAA claims that it urgently needs planning approval for a
second Stansted runway, revealing passenger numbers are at their lowest annual total for six years with an eight year low for aircraft movements
* SSE gives support to Heathrow campaigners' High Court challenge and its own Court of Appeal case against expansion on the existing Stansted runway is cited on Day 1
* SSE attends Conservative Spring Forum to brief MPs, MEPs and Shadow Ministers
* Communities Secretary John Denham tells BAA to clarify its second runway application
intentions and requires updated information if it intends to proceed at public inquiry
* SSE initiates a new procedure with Uttlesford District Council and the airport for the reporting
and investigation of aircraft fuel smells and deposits, leading to further investigation on
refuelling emissions later in the year by a sub-group of the airport's consultative committee
* A modified departure flight path within the Clacton 22 Noise Preferential Route is successfully
trialled as part of moves to reduce noise in the Hallingburys, Hatfield Heath and Broad Oak
* BAA admits that even after ownership issues are resolved with the Competition Commission,
it will still take 12-18 months to update the second runway application - meaning a potential
outcome wouldn't be known following public inquiry until 2015 or beyond
* SSE represented at Stansted Liberal Democrat dinner with Baroness Shirley Williams
* Broxted Quiz raises £880 for SSE fighting fund
* Historic High Court ruling on Heathrow says 2003 Air Transport White Paper is outdated and
needs to be rewritten to reflect climate change targets - with major implications for Stansted
* SSE attends Westminster seminar on Regulating Air Transport, with (Labour) Transport
Minister Paul Clark and other key industry figures
* SSE holds meeting with CAA and DfT to discuss environmental aspects of the CAA's
Regulatory Framework for Aviation consultation and submits written response
* Competition Commission releases BAA from interim undertakings requiring pursuit of second
runway plans at Stansted, meaning there is no longer any legal pressure to move forward
* BAA Stansted accounts filed at Companies House reveal that the airport operator has
mortgaged its entire assets including many local homes
* Pressure from SSE helps secure improved airport policy on handling noise complaints
* Competition Commission applies to the Court of Appeal against BAA's continued ownership
of Stansted following outcome of Competition Appeal Tribunal in late 2009
* SSE mobilises to prevent planning application for airport property to be relaxed to allow nonairport
use which could potentially open floodgates for development at Stansted
* SSE's parent organisation, NWEEHPA, holds AGM
* SSE supports call by parliamentary candidates for local rail users to be given as much
consideration as airport passengers with a fairer deal on new train carriages order
* Duton Hill Quiz Night held in aid of SSE raises £1,000
* Labour election manifesto pledges no second runway at Stansted in the new parliament;
Conservative and Liberal Democrat manifestos follow suit in line with their confirmed position
Icelandic volcano erupts providing a week of peace for millions living near airports and
making people around Stansted more aware than ever of the 'normal' noise levels
* Noise Action Week used to remind community to report noise nuisance from Stansted aircraft
via the SSE website to ensure logging of disturbance - and help SSE press for action
* Duton Hill Fun Day raises £1,600 for second runway fighting fund and other local causes
* Bookstall at Henham Fete raises £80 and provides opportunity to talk to hundreds
* Innovative floral display for SSE steals the show at the Elsenham Flower Festival
* General Election result sees Coalition Government formed between Conservatives and
Liberal Democrats - despite Ed Balls's offer to scrap Heathrow expansion in order to form a
coalition with the Liberal Democrats
* First announcement by the Coalition Government is to rescind policy support for new runways
at Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick, enshrined in the Coalition Agreement
* (24 May) BAA surrenders and withdraws its planning application and compulsory purchase
orders for the second runway planning application
* (25 May) SSE holds champagne celebration at the Three Horseshoes, Molehill Green, with
supporters from far and wide
* (26 May) SSE recommences work on securing a long term moratorium on additional runways
at Stansted to ensure the best policy framework for the future. SSE accepts invitation from the
CAA to participate in stakeholder workshops to consider changes to the economic regulation
of airports (ahead of new legislation due in 2011)
* SSE calls on BAA to sell back homes and property acquired in connection with the second
runway plans and to give a long term pledge that no new runway plans will be brought
forward. Unsurprisingly, BAA refuses, blaming the previous government for all that happened
* SSE hold Westminster and Whitehall briefings to reflect change of administration
* SSE represented at Bishop's Stortford carnival and Hatfield Heath flower festival
* Competition Commission goes to the Court of Appeal at the High Court to appeal decision by
the Competition Appeals Tribunal to quash forced sale of Stansted Airport by BAA
* SSE helps to organise noise meeting in Hatfield Heath to address aircraft noise issues arising
from departure procedures and Air Asia X flights affecting local villages
* BAA denies completion date of 2019/20 for Echo Taxiway which will trigger compensation
payments worth millions, stated in a letter of early June, claiming 2014/15 might be possible
* Sir Alan Haselhurst MP hosts 'Never Again' reception for SSE at the House of Commons to
reflect on the success of the campaign and highlight what remains to be done to secure a
long term moratorium on a new runway at Stansted. Attended by MPs from across the region
and Business Minister Mark Prisk MP
* Pies, Puds and Plonk Sunday lunch in a Broxted country garden raises £2,600 for SSE
* New SSE Christmas card launched featuring Hatfield Forest
* Parish Councils start writing to the Transport Minister calling for action on housing blight
* Pedal power brought to the fore at Flitch Way Cycle Ride to highlight the need for the
community to rebuild after the threat of major expansion at Stansted
* SSE bookstall at Countess of Warwick Show raises £800 for SSE and for the Friends of the
Five Parishes - despite appalling weather
* Birchanger villagers raise £700 for SSE's fighting fund with a 'Race Night at the Proms'
* SSE attends Liberal Democrat and Labour Party Conferences to highlight need for long term
moratorium on Stansted expansion and the release of homes back to the community
* 9th annual Runway Ramble - the Hallingbury Hike - attracts community leaders and walkers
to highlight the blight across the region from overflying and BAA's refusal to sell back homes
* SSE represented at the Hatfield Forest Woodfest and Dunmow carnival
* Total donations from parish and town councils for the SSE financial year reach £20,000
* 2010 Community Calendar launched
* Ed Miliband elected as new Labour leader - a significant step forwards towards changing his
party's policy on airport expansion following his earlier statements of opposition to new runways in the south east
* SSE attends Conservative Party Conference
* Court of Appeal rules in the Competition Commission's favour: BAA must sell Stansted and
either Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports. BAA pledges to appeal to the Supreme Court - despite SSE calls for it to end the blight by accepting the decision
* NATS announces that its airspace change consultation, first initiated in 2008, won't be re-run
except as part of a nationwide review, and not for 2-3 years at the earliest. Immediate threat
to the region lifted and result linked to fierce campaigning by SSE and others
* SSE responds to Defra consultation on the Future Shape of the Countryside, stressing the
need to put a formal value on priceless rural assets
* SSE discusses Stansted expansion plans with Justice Minister Ken Clarke on visit to Felsted
* SSE website reaches 1 million hits by 42,000 unique visitors since start of 2010
* Stansted passengers now at 18.8m passengers per annum - down from 2007 peak of 24.1m - while aircraft movements are reduced to 146,795 (compared with 193,700 in October 2007)
* New trains ordered by National Express to be allocated to both the Stansted Express and
Cambridge commuter line, alleviating some (but not all) concerns over second class
treatment of local commuters at the expense of airport passengers
* Community pressure results in all Air Asia X flights being moved out of the eight hour night
period for the winter schedule that started end-October 2010, with the occasional departure
now just on the 11pm night period start time
* SSE holds major second hand book sale in aid of the fighting fund, raising £890
* Calendar and Christmas card sales continue apace, enabling face-to-face contact with
thousands of people across the community and contributing to SSE funds
* Transport Minister Theresa Villiers briefed by SSE delegation and Sir Alan Haselhurst MP in
Westminster, agreeing to look into moratorium issue and BAA stranglehold on the ownership
of property in the community
* Continued pressure leads to airport drafting helicopter complaints procedure which will be
incorporated into the policy on handling noise complaints
* Proposal finally in preparation by airport for raising height limits for departing aircraft from
4,000ft to 6,000ft, initially on the Clacton 22 route, that will avoid holding down aircraft in the
initial climb phase and improve the noise climate
* SSE presses for continuous descent approaches for aircraft landing from the south west and
especially over Ware
* BAA Noise Action Plan still unpublished, more than a year after the consultation closed
* Stansted Airport's Managing Director leaves suddenly "by mutual agreement"
* SSE provides guidance to parish and town councils on responding to the CAA's Future Airspace Strategy consultation
* Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers delivers keynote address at 'A New Direction for Aviation Policy' conference, attended by SSE who note the Minister is irked by industry lobbying
ANNUAL REVIEW 2009
* SSE reiterates concerns over Public Inquiry start date, seeking deferral on three grounds
* SSE has formal seat at second runway Programming Meeting; community turns out in force to call for Inquiry to be 'fair and thorough, not quick and dirty'; Inspector acknowledges fast-tracking unfeasible after pressure from SSE and other parties
* Government confirms policy support for a third Heathrow runway after major consultation; branded unfair by campaigners, community and environmentalists
* SSE makes its final (fourth) evidence submission to the Competition Commission endorsing the Commission's provisional conclusion that BAA should be forced to sell Stansted
* Birchanger Burns Supper raises £1,600 for SSE second runway fighting fund
* SSE makes case at High Court against expansion permission on existing runway after raising £20,000 in specific donations from individuals, parishes and environmental groups
* Parishes of Takeley and Stansted Mountfitchet donate £10,000 and £5,000 respectively to SSE's second runway fighting fund
* NATS announces that its airspace change consultation is to be re-run after overwhelming community concern, scheduled for second half of 2009
* SSE responds to the House of Commons Transport Committee's Future of Aviation Inquiry
* BAA admits 2017 is earliest opening date for second runway if permission granted - contrasting with the Government's initial expectation of 2011-2012
* Conservative Leader David Cameron confirms in writing his party's opposition to second Stansted runway
* High Court rejects SSE's appeal against the single runway expansion decision; SSE High Court costs exposure limited by Protective Costs Order
* SSE applies to Court of Appeal to overturn High Court ruling on single runway
* SSE writes to Secretary of State arguing that the second runway Public Inquiry should be postponed due to doubts about BAA's future ownership of Stansted and other uncertainties
* Secretary of State for Communities postpones second runway Inquiry until Competition Commission report published and ownership issues are resolved
* Competition Commission Market Inquiry into BAA monopoly published, requiring Stansted, Gatwick and Edinburgh or Glasgow Airports to be sold within two years
* Broxted Quiz raises £1,250 for second runway fighting fund
* SSE reveals incompatibilities between BAA's debt mountain and ability to legally see through Compulsory Purchase Order applications
* Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesman Norman Baker visits SSE and his Leader, Nick Clegg, confirms in writing his party's opposition to a second Stansted runway
* SSE highlights the impact of new figures issued in the Budget which mean second runway will not be needed until well after 2030 - despite BAA's protestations to the contrary. Government sticks to position of 'urgent capacity shortage in the south east' - taken as a face-saving reference to pressure on Heathrow facilities rather than Stansted
* SSE attends Conservative Party Spring Conference to reinforce opposition to second runway
* 'Showtime at the Civic' raises £5,000 for second runway fighting fund
* SSE's parent organisation, NWEEHPA, holds AGM
* Duton Hill Fun Day and Quiz raise £1,400 for second runway fighting fund
* SSE publishes practical guide to reporting noise nuisance and sends it to 40,000 local residents with parish council and resident group support
* Conservative Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers visits Stansted to discuss economic issues with SSE and reaffirms second runway opposition
* SSE responds to Government consultation on the Noise Regulation Amendments
* SSE responds to Government consultation on the term "Carbon Neutral"
* SSE responds to Government consultation on Reforming the Framework for the Economic Regulation of UK Airports, strongly supporting the need for an independent regulator
* SSE gives oral evidence to the House of Commons Transport Committee's Future of Aviation Inquiry
* SSE asks Office of Fair Trading to investigate allegations of unfair trading practices at Stansted in relation to the treatment of local taxi firms and B&Bs/guest houses
* Court of Appeal permission hearing held, providing clarity on the meaning of the High Court ruling on expansion of existing runway, though SSE's right to appeal is refused
* SSE attends follow-up meeting with Shadow Transport Secretary in Westminster
* SSE objective updated to incorporate county of Cambridgeshire, more fully reflecting the membership profile
* House of Commons Transport Committee asks SSE to provide further information on economics and forecasting issues for its Future of Aviation Inquiry
* SSE's 'Robin' 2009 Christmas Card launched
* Birchanger BBQ raises £1,700 for second runway fighting fund
* SSE issues guidance on responding to BAA's draft Noise Action Plan consultation and alerts Environment Secretary Hilary Benn to major flaw in BAA's presentation of statistics
* SSE responds to Health Protection Agency consultation on Environmental Noise and Health
* SSE volunteers support highly successful open day held at Gardens of Easton Lodge whose restoration plans have been blighted by second runway proposals
* SSE bookstall at Countess of Warwick Show raises £1,100 for SSE and the Friends of the Five Parishes
* SSE responds to rail industry consultation on Increased Capacity on West Anglia/Stansted Express services
* SSE makes formal representations opposing plans to expand Gatwick's north terminal and related facilities, calling for the application to be considered at a Public Inquiry
* SSE attends Labour Party Conference to highlight economic flaws of Stansted expansion
* SSE takes part in noise meeting in Hatfield Heath to address new, noisy, departure procedures and Air Asia X flights affecting local villages
* SSE responds to BAA's draft Noise Action Plan consultation, condemning its weakness in failing to propose meaningful measures to bear down on noise nuisance
* 8th annual runway ramble - the Heritage Hike - attracts 250 walkers and raises £3,000 in sponsorship and donations
* Total donations from parish and town councils for the SSE financial year reach £28,000
* 2010 Community Calendar launched
* SSE attends Conservative Party Conference, briefing senior Shadow Ministers and advisers
* Shadow Aviation Minister Julian Brazier promises no new runways at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted - if Conservatives are elected
* SSE discusses Stansted expansion plans with Shadow Chancellor George Osborne on visit to Great Hallingbury
* SSE attends the Competition Appeal Tribunal four day hearing of BAA's appeal against the ruling that three of its airports including Stansted must be sold
* BAA sale of Gatwick concluded for just £1.5bn - half the cost of developing a second runway at Stansted - during the Competition Appeal Tribunal
* Broxted Race Night raises £500 for second runway fighting fund
* SSE website reaches 1.7 million hits by 112,000 unique visitors in 12 months
* Stansted passengers now at 20.2 million passengers per annum (a fall of 16.5% since peak of 24m two years ago) and aircraft movements at 156,729 (a fall of 19.1% since 2007). Cargo flights have fallen to 1999 levels
* SSE supporters join thousands in London for climate change march and rally - timed to
coincide with the Copenhagen Climate Summit which sadly fails to reach meaningful accord
* Government's Climate Change Committee publishes report on UK aviation requiring major
cuts in future air transport capacity because of carbon emissions from aircraft
* House of Commons Transport Committee Report concludes that the economic case for a
second Stansted runway has not been made, questioning the need for it and vindicating SSE's economic arguments in the process
* Pre Budget Report makes no change from Air Passenger Duty to Per Plane Duty plans - long
proposed by SSE - much to the discontent of the aviation industry
* 50 SSE volunteers and 30 shops raise £38,000 for SSE from sales of the Community
Calendar, Christmas cards and notelets
* Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds BAA appeal against sale of Stansted in ongoing saga
ANNUAL REVIEW 2008
* SSE exposes plan to fast-track the second runway Public Inquiry process, telescoping it to six months with parallel sessions, compromising proper community representation
* SSE has formal seat at the second runway Pre-Inquiry Meeting attended by 400 people
* After consulting with members and environmental organisations, SSE lodges High Court challenge to the granting of permission to expand existing runway capacity
* SSE responds to Government consultation on the Guidance for Airport Operators to Produce Action Plans under the terms of the Environmental Noise Regulations 2006
* SSE preparation for second runway Public Inquiry continues, including attendance at Topic Working Groups with other Inquiry parties, continuing to Summer 2009
* SSE writes to Secretary of State identifying fundamental shortcomings in BAA's Economic Impact Report for the second runway project
* SSE supporters join thousands in London for climate change march and rally
* Planning Inspectorate team visits SSE to discuss concerns over fairness and transparency relating to second runway Public Inquiry format
* 50 SSE volunteers and 30 shops raise £43,000 for SSE from sales of the Community Calendar, Christmas cards and notelets
* Plane Stupid pressure group closes Stansted Airport in protest at climate impacts
* Competition Commission issues provisional findings of Market Inquiry into BAA, indicating it expects Stansted, Gatwick and either Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports will have to be sold
* SSE delivers 300 page Statement of Case to Public Inquiry Inspector
ANNUAL REVIEW 2007
* SSE commissions expert witnesses for Public Inquiry battle into proposals for expansion on Stansted's single runway
* BAA announces second runway proposals, claiming them to be 'greener and cheaper'
* Preparation for biennial SSE Community Conference
* SSE Community Conference held for 200 opinion formers, themed 'Think Global Act Local'
* SSE responds to CAA Airports Price Control Review
* SSE presses Chancellor to address Air Passenger Duty loopholes for business travellers
* BAA announces surface access proposals for an expanded Stansted but concentrates on road development rather than rail despite Government policy emphasis on public transport
* SSE responds to Government's proposed changes to Draft East of England Plan
* SSE Public Inquiry preparations continue
* SSE takes part in the Pre-Inquiry Meeting for the Public Inquiry
* Henham Jumble Sale and Broxted Quiz raise £2600 for SSE Public Inquiry Appeal Fund
* Draft Climate Change Bill published but ignores aviation's contribution
* Invoice for £145m delivered to BAA to highlight the real environmental cost of its climate change contribution at Stansted for the first quarter of 2007
* SSE meets Conservative and Liberal Democrat Environment and Transport spokesmen in Stansted who confirm their parties' opposition to a second Stansted runway
* SSE attends Conservative Party Spring Forum to speak about emerging aviation policy
* BAA attempts to limit Public Inquiry scope with temporary cap of 'about 35mppa'
* SSE successfully presses Inspector to include the climate change impacts of aviation in the Public Inquiry's terms of reference
* Barn Dance, Posh Frocks Sale and Duton Hill Quiz raise £2400 for Public Inquiry Appeal Fund
* SSE Response Team finalises proofs of evidence for submission to Public Inquiry
* 42nd AGM held by SSE parent body, North West Essex & East Herts Preservation Association
* SSE responds to DfT consultation on proposed de-designation of Stansted Airport ? opposing the proposed removal of price caps on grounds of prematurity
* Public Inquiry starts, drawing substantial media coverage of SSE?s position including plea for action to curb the growth in air travel as cover story of the Independent newspaper
* Counsel's opinion sought on validity of Highways Agency/BAA M11 consultation leading to an exchange of letters with the Secretary of State for Transport and BAA
* SSE submission made to Competition Commission towards the investigation into BAA monopoly
* Duton Hill Funday raises £700 for Inquiry Appeal Fund
* SSE responds formally to Highways Agency/BAA M11 consultation, highlighting flaws
* Flitch Way cycle rides held for SSE attract over 200 participants
* Uttlesford DC and BAA give evidence at Public Inquiry, well-attended by SSE supporters
* SSE cross-examines BAA witnesses at Public Inquiry, exposing numerous inconsistencies in evidence
* SSE Patron Terry Waite CBE visits Broxted for the Picnic in the SSE Wood
* SSE responds to BAA Rail Consultation
* Gaston House auction raises £33,000 for Public Inquiry Appeal Fund, meeting £120,000 target
* Aqqaluk Lynge, President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, gives evidence against expansion at Public Inquiry and presents to Parliamentarians in the House of Commons
* 16 members of the SSE Response Team and external experts give Public Inquiry evidence
* SSE Christmas Cards for 2007 go on sale
* Investigative journalist Andrew Gilligan exposes fake pro-expansion letters to local papers
* 2000 job cuts across BAA reported by national press as company 'streamlines' operations
* SSE submits formal response to Government's Planning White Paper consultation
* Competition Commission confirms intention to consider break up of BAA monopoly
* SSE's Polar Bears Picnic at the Gardens of Easton Lodge highlights climate change threat
* SSE delegation makes presentation at Heathrow Climate Camp for community solidarity
* Public Inquiry resumes with individual, association and parish representations, including community sessions in Sudbury and Ware
* Road and rail issues examined by major parties, including SSE, at the Public Inquiry
* Will Self leads 6th annual SSE Runway Ramble in National Trust owned Hatfield Forest ? the 75th major public event to be organised by SSE since 2002
* SSE campaign boards exhort 'Support the British Economy ? Stop Stansted Expansion' to reinforce economic arguments against Stansted proposals
* BAA appoints new chairman to try to reverse reputation problems and key staff departures
* Pro-expansion lobby group launched by aviation industry to 'redress the publicity balance'
* Sir Alan Haselhurst MP gives evidence against expansion to the Public Inquiry, picketed by airport workers paid by BAA to attend as revealed by The Times
* 2008 Community Calendar launched
* SSE website achieves 2.8 million hits by 77,000 unique visitors in the previous 12 months
* Public Inquiry ends with Closing Submissions ? decision due Spring 2008
* SSE responds to DfT Airport De-designation consultation
* Little Easton Sunday Lunch with Lord Hanningfield raises almost £1400 for the campaign
* SSE responds to Highway Agency M11 consultation (reissued in the wake of representations by SSE) and DfT's Emissions Cost Assessment consultation
* SSE submission made to Transport Committee Inquiry into the Future of BAA
* SSE launches Second Runway Fighting Fund Appeal to Members
* Stansted Quiz raises £1200 for Fighting Fund Appeal
* Heathrow consultation launched into "mixed mode" and third runway as Secretary of State lets slip (and then retracts) view that securing even one extra runway in the South East is ambitious
* Office of National Statistics announce record hole in UK trade balance from rapid growth in cheap leisure flights at £19bn net deficit for 2006
* SSE members join Campaign Against Climate Change March in London
* Community Calendars and Christmas Cards sold by 80 volunteers and shops raise £33,000
* SSE makes formal comment on Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government's proposed changes to the East of England Plan
* Stansted passenger numbers show substantial slowdown in growth to just a 1% increase over the past year compared with annual growth of 15%-20% experienced in previous years
* BAA delays submission of second Stansted runway application yet again while telling investors that the application is 'an option' not 'a commitment' to build, further blighting the community
* SSE highlights the financial pressures on BAA arising from the debt mountain taken on to fund Ferrovial's acquisition and the failure to refinance in an increasingly difficult banking climate
* Uttlesford District Councillors renew their pledge of opposition to further runways at Stansted
* Inspector Boyland due to submit single runway Public Inquiry report in confidence to Government for a decision and announcement in 2008
ANNUAL REVIEW 2006
* Uttlesford District Council turns down BAA application for expansion on existing runway
* BAA lodges an Appeal against the Uttlesford refusal
* SSE members join 20,000-strong National Climate March and Rally
* SSE targets FTSE 100 Chairmen on policies on air travel and climate change commitment
* SSE publicises CAA figures showing the average Stansted passenger's income is £51,500
* Passengers travelling by rail to Stansted drop by 5% while road passengers rise 6%
* Balance of Trade deficit from air travel worsens to £19bn compared to £2bn ten years before
* Stansted Quiz raises £1000 for SSE fighting fund
* BAA blights Christmas with third delay in announcing second runway siting consultation results
* SSE evidence preparation begins for Public Inquiry
* SSE launches Public Inquiry Appeal Fund - £10,000 pledged in the first week
* Community Calendars and Christmas Cards sold by 80 volunteers and shops raise £35,000
* Chancellor doubles Air Passenger Duty in Autumn Budget
* Author and columnist Will Self tours threatened Stansted woodland with SSE
* Air Transport White Paper Review hints at policy shift with Stansted expansion described as 'a matter for developers' rather than a matter for the Government
* SSE takes part in Civil Aviation Authority discussions on Airports' Price Review
* OFT announces decision to refer BAA to Competition Commission for monopoly investigation
* SSE briefs Conservative and Liberal Democrat spokesmen on EU Emissions Trading Scheme
* SSE responds to London Mayor on airport expansion matters within Draft London Plan
ANNUAL REVIEW 2005
* 200 community leaders, MPs, MEPs and supporters attend SSE Conference
* 25,000 SSE Yellow 'Fact & Fiction' Cards launched by six local MPs and MEPs
* Parliamentarians briefed by SSE on surface access issues relating to Stansted
* 7000th Community Calendar 2005 sold in aid of SSE bringing total raised to £20,000
* SSE Shareholder Resolution accepted by BAA for 2005 AGM
* High Court rules Government acted unlawfully in specifying second runway siting
* 40 leading bankers and analysts attend SSE City Briefing on Stansted commercial viability
* SSE highlights heritage plight at Gardens of Easton Lodge and raises £400
* SSE guides members on supporting EU action on Night Flights ban
* Hertfordshire County Council briefed by SSE on surface access issues relating to Stansted
* Broxted Quiz Night raises £1000
* SSE holds major public meeting at Mountfitchet High School attended by 300+ people
* Lord Braybrooke and Sir Alan Haselhurst MP host fundraising appeal
* SSE issues guidance to 200+ councils and responds to EERA's draft East of England plan
* South Suffolk Air Transport Action Group representative joins SSE Executive
* Conservative Party aviation policy reflects cross subsidy and blight compensation concerns
* Henham Quiz Night raises £1000
* Pre-election briefings held for Parliamentary candidates on Stansted expansion
* Critique of BAA environmental impact assessment plans sent to Uttlesford DC
* Guidance and response provided to EU Consultation on climate change/aviation
* SSE issues response to Department for Transport's M11 Corridor Expansion consultation
* Meeting held between SSE and National Trust policy unit
* SSE Rail Working Group established
* London Marathon completed by SSE Officer Manager Ian Hobson, raising £1200
* Bling and Bags Sale in Saffron Walden raises £1700
* Takeley Quiz Night raises £950
* SSE issues council guidance and responds to Environmental Noise Directive consultation
* 300 major investors, 150 shareholders and media briefed on SSE resolution for BAA AGM
* SSE representatives attend BAA Air Quality Seminar
* SSE presentation to EERA on Stansted transport issues
* SSE Ball at Blake Hall Ongar raises £5000
* Barn Dance at Pledgdon Green raises £1100
* Thorley Quiz raises £200
* Hatfield Broad Oak 10km runners raise £1700
* SSE meets BAA's Health Impact Assessment consultants to express concerns on remit/scope
* SSE Noise team begins work on comprehensive response to Night Flight Consultation
* MPs and Peers briefed by SSE on Civil Aviation Bill and other issues
* Norman Mead, Deputy Chairman, awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours
* SSE responds to Essex Local Transport Plan highlighting airport-related issues
* SSE attends preliminary meeting for Examination of draft East of England Plan
* SSE holds formal talks with Uttlesford District Council on expansion expectations
* BAA admits it cannot meet government target date for a second Stansted runway
* SSE attends seminars on implementing the White Paper and on health impacts
* Candour of BAA Directors questioned over SSE shareholder resolution
* 1000 people join SSE Runway Ramble and Grand Summer Fete, raising £5,000
* SSE shareholder resolution/Stansted expansion viability dominate questions at BAA's AGM
* Mark Prisk MP demands independent airport watchdog to monitor BAA
* SSE exposes BAA plans to play down second runway impacts in leaked environmental report
* BAA tries to claim that doubling current passenger capacity will have little or no impact
* BAA's draft interim master plan slated for hiding the true scale of BAA's plans
* SSE reveals that cost of airport related housing blight now exceeds £600 million
* Guidance on DfT Night Flying Restrictions consultation issued by SSE to 200+ councils
* SSE analysis for air tourism report highlights £15bn balance of payments deficit in 2004
* Briefing conducted by SSE for Shadow Aviation Minister, Julian Brazier MP
* SSE writes to BAA on inadequate masterplan/increased capacity consultation
* SSE participates in Countess of Warwick Show
* SSE issues guidance to the community and MPs/councils on BAA plans for existing runway
* Teddy Bears Picnic at the Gardens of Easton Lodge raises £750
* SSE members William and Rob Chastell cycle 106 miles in ten hours to raise £350
* SSE responds formally to the Government's Night Flying Restrictions consultation
* 200+ councils briefed by SSE on airport related health issues
* SSE wins prize for best non-commercial float at Dunmow Carnival
* Representatives from SSE make presence felt at Labour Party Conference
* Launch of Community Calendar 2006 and Christmas cards
* Tim Yeo MP and SSE speak at South Suffolk Air Traffic Action Group meeting
* SSE makes written submissions to Panel examining draft East of England Plan
* Stansted Quiz raises £800
* Little Easton Auction of Promises raises £3350 for SSE
* Night flights rally in Westminster attracts dozens of MPs and 400+ people affected by airport operations at Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow
* SSE makes presentation to Uttlesford District Council's Stansted Airport Advisory Panel
* MPs updated and Peers briefed by SSE on Civil Aviation Bill
* Liberal Democrat Transport Spokeman, Tom Brake MP, briefed by SSE
* Hertfordshire Wheelers organise three cycle rides highlighting expansion threat
* Broxted Supper and Race Night raises £550
* SSE participates in the Examination in Public of the draft East of England Plan
* SSE meeting with Department of Health officials responsible for public health planning
* Quality of SSE briefing praised in the House of Lords during Civil Aviation Bill second reading
* Sir Alan Haselhurst MP leads SSE meeting with Aviation Minister Karen Buck MP
* SSE again provides oral evidence at the draft East of England Plan Examination
* City, industry and community unite to condemn BAA plans for the "runway that nobody wants"
* High Court hears Takeley Parish Council's request for judicial review of BAA HOSS scheme
* Burton End mobilises to address newly proposed land grab for BAA car parking
* SSE website receives 150,000 different visitors and two million hits in 12 months
ANNUAL REVIEW 2004
* SSE publishes White Paper summary and commentary
* SSE challenges BAA to let battle commence at Stansted meeting attended by 700+ people
* SSE Community Calendar sales completed by 50 volunteers and 30 retailers, raising £20,000
* SSE begins preparations for Judicial Review challenge and building a consortium to share costs
* SSE initiates schools' briefings to ensure balanced debate within curriculum studies
* SSE Update leaflet distributed to 140,000 homes
* SSE supporters join other airport communities for 'sleep in' protest at DfT Noise Conference
* SSE makes presentations at 8 public meetings, including a special meeting for Broxted/Takeley
* SSE begins City analyst briefings addressing lack of commercial justification for expansion
* 'Snowdrops' fundraising event at the Gardens of Easton Lodge raises £500 for SSE
* SSE's Judicial Review claim submitted in partnership with Heathrow and Luton communities
* SSE reveals extent of BAA land grab as large as the area bordered by London's Circle Line
* SSE Planning & Response Committee formed (expert representation on health and environment)
* BAA's Chief Executive admits to City: "no second runway without a business case"
* SSE briefs 1100 'key opinion formers' on the financing of Stansted Airport
* SSE issues guidance to parish and other councils on BAA's HOSS consultation
* SSE lobbies on Planning & Compulsory Puchase Bill, leading to important amendments
* SSE makes presentations at 27 public meetings including joint platform with BAA at Harlow
* Broxted Quiz and Duton Hill Quiz Nights raise £700 and £250 for SSE respectively
* SSE wins Parliamentary award for Best Community Campaign
* SSE makes presentations at 22 public meetings
* BAA Plane Talk propaganda sheet condemned by politicians and community leaders
* SSE issues Special House Prices Report to 20,000 homeowners
* SSE newssheet 'The Stun' reveals noise impacts using BAA's own radar maps
* SSE attends Royal Aeronautical Society Conference on airport expansion and the environment
* Little Easton Antiques Roadshow raises £900 for SSE
* SSE makes presentations at 18 public meetings
* SSE's shareholder resolution forced upon BAA for AGM agenda in July
* SSE/NWEEHPA respond to Passenger Air Transport Movements consultation proposals
* Henham Quiz Walk and Stansted Quiz Night raise £400 and £450 respectively for SSE
* High Court allows SSE's Judicial Review claim against the White Paper
* Terry Waite plants inaugural tree at the SSE Woods, Broxted Hill Farm
* SSE holds cross-party MPs briefing at the House of Commons
* SSE parent organisation NWEEHPA AGM held
* Meetings commence to oppose inclusion of second runway in EERA's regional spatial strategy
* Hatfield Broad Oak Jumble Sale raises £250 for SSE
* Vanishing Villages at Broxted Open Gardens attracts 1000 people and raises £4000 for SSE
* Peter Sanders appointed new SSE Chairman, Norman Mead becomes Deputy Chairman
* SSE speaks at the BAA AGM on shareholder authorisation of political donations
* BAA MORI poll bias exposed by SSE, leading to industry watchdog investigation
* SSE prepares detailed opinion on BAA's scoping studies for Environmental Impact Assessment
* Saffron Walden Car Boot Sale raises £250 for SSE
* Second anniversary of SSE's establishment
* 360' panoramic views installed on SSE website showing threatened homes and countryside
* The Lancet publishes comment on unhealthy airports by SSE Health Working Group Chairman
* SSE takes part in the Countess of Warwick Show and National Trust Hatfield Forest event
* BAA rescinds free parking for MPs, MEPs and Peers following SSE's campaigning
* SSE Surface Access Strategy published examining implications for full use of existing runway
* SSE condemns BAA's response on compensation and opens discussions with government
* SSE speaks at Commercial Aviation Sustainability Strategy conference in London
* SSE Update leaflet distributed to homes across Uttlesford and East Herts
* SSE publishes guidance for parish council input into government's Night Flights Consultation
* SSE attends Labour Party Conference and meets Ministers, Peers, MPs and special advisers
* SSE Runway Ramble attracts 1000 people and raises £10,000 for SSE legal fund
* Manuden Champagne Supper Auction raises £8,000 for SSE legal fund
* SSE attends Conservative Party Conference and meets Parliamentarians and special advisers
* SSE holds public meeting for Sudbury residents about increasing overflying and noise impacts
* BAA admits it won't make a decision on the business case for a second runway until Nov 2008
* Over 60 SSE volunteers and 30 shops begin selling Community Calendar and Christmas cards
* SSE publishes analysis of CAA Stansted statistics showing declining share of business travel
* Mass tree planting of the SSE Wood with 500 of the 1100 sponsored trees at Broxted Hill Farm
* SSE supports Takeley Parish Council in planning legal action on compensation for blight
* Red Letter Day held in five locations and Blight Dossier appeal launched
* SSE Noise Working Group Chair addresses pan-European airport conference
* Barn Dance and Tilty Cheese and Wine Evening raise £2,600 and £500 for SSE
* SSE and partners begin Judicial Review of the Air Transport White Paper in the High Court
* SSE members total 6000 individuals and over 100 parishes, societies and special interest groups
ANNUAL REVIEW 2003
* Government publishes Air Transport White Paper (16th)
* CAA reaffirms continued opposition to cross subsidy of Stansted for new investment (17th)
* SSE supporters scoop media interest at BAA press conference on the White Paper (18th)