19th September 2008
New aircraft noise threat to Suffolk and South Cambridgeshire
Proposals to change flight paths and stacking areas across the region which would severely affect large swathes of Suffolk and South Cambridgeshire would be compounded by plans for a second Stansted runway, campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion said today.
Close reading of one of the appendices buried deep in BAA’s Environmental Statement for the application reveals that the “Berry Hold” (Western Stack) and “Hadly Hold” (Eastern Stack) described for aircraft waiting to land at Stansted are identical to the aircraft stacking areas south of Newmarket and Stowmarket respectively, put forward in the recent NATS airspace change proposals consultation.
Meanwhile, flight paths indicated in the second runway plans differ only marginally from those being put forward by NATS for coming years.
The NATS proposal drew a massive response from 15,000 individuals and almost 600 organisations across East Anglia. The majority of the respondents (86%) opposed the proposal because of fears for the noise impacts on rural areas and the threat to tranquility. Yet many people in the area remain unaware that there is a bigger battle that needs to be fought to protect rural peace longer term, now revealed by campaigners working through the second runway application with a fine tooth-comb.
As a result, a warning is being issued that those who would be affected by the NATS plans should also be aware of the need to make urgent representations on the second runway application by the 26 September deadline because of the impacts they could suffer if the plans are allowed to proceed.
Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign Director Carol Barbone said: “Everyone concerned about noise and tranquility issues should recognise the major threat that would be posed by a second runway at Stansted with some half a million flights a year using the airport. Such intensity of overflying would radically change the character of the region.”
The second runway expansion application which has been submitted by airport operator BAA would, if given permission, enable Stansted to handle triple the number of planes currently using the airport, making it larger than Heathrow today.
Views on the second runway and related proposals should be sent to Uttlesford District Council which is handling the application at UDC (Planning), London Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4ER or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, with ‘Second Runway’ as the reference. All representations will be seen by the Inspector who will lead the Public Inquiry into the plans in 2009. Further information is available from SSE Office.