Uttlesford District Council has approved Stansted’s expansion plans, but only just. With the council’s planning committee split down the middle, it took the casting vote of the chairman to decide in favour.
Stansted’s plans involve building a new arrivals building and reconfiguring airport operations.
The actual planning application being voted on by the council was an increase in the cap on passenger numbers from 35 million a year to 43 million, to be achieved by airfield works comprising two new taxiway links to the existing runway and nine additional aircraft stands.
London Stansted chief executive Ken O’Toole welcomed the decision, saying: “We are delighted that Uttlesford District Council has today approved our planning application to enable the airport to grow over the next decade. This will boost our region’s economic growth and deliver 5,000 additional jobs at London Stansted Airport.
“Today’s decision offers London Stansted and its airline partners the long-term clarity we need to make further investment decisions at the airport but also importantly provides the local community with the assurance that our future growth will be delivered in a measured and sustainable way.
“From the outset our local community has been a vital partner in this planning process and it was their feedback which led us to put forward a proposal which did not seek an increase in the number of flights and committed to deliver the growth within a smaller noise footprint than our existing permissions require.
“The decision is great news for the airport, our staff and the growth ambitions of the region, London and the wider UK and will improve passenger choice and convenience and boost international long-haul routes to fast-growing markets like China, India and the US.
“The combination of the strong economic health of our catchment, our available runway capacity, the £600m investment we are making in our facilities and the continuing desire of local residents to travel by air by London Stansted, will collectively ensure that the airport has a bright future.”