Democratically and Politically Unwise to Issue an Airport Expansion Decision Notice that Short-Changes Residents

April 9, 2019 12:49 PM
By Alan Dean
Stansted
Local Liberal Democrats want a planning legal agreement between Uttlesford District Council (UDC) and Manchester Airport Group at Stansted Airport that does not short-change residents. They have called for a halt to Stansted Airport being issued with a premature Planning Decision Notice by UDC. The Lib Dems say a Decision Notice to allow the go-ahead for airport expansion should be held back until a robust planning agreement has been negotiated and approved by the council's planning committee.
On Sunday (April 7th), Stansted district councillor Alan Dean emailed political leaders Cllrs Howard Rolfe and John Lodge, the chairman and vice chairman of the council's planning committee, Cllrs Alan Mills and Janice Loughlin, and the chief executive, Dawn French, calling for a pause.
Cllr Dean wrote: "I am deeply concerned about current events, at what seems to be a serious short-changing of the residents of Uttlesford District, and beyond, by a weak Planning Section106 legal agreement.
"The S.106 agreement should not be concluded this side of the May election. The Decision Notice should not be issued until a balanced S.106 Agreement has been negotiated and has received Elected Member ratification. It would be democratically and politically unwise to issue a decision notice at this sensitive time during pre-election purdah."
Melvin Caton, who is standing for the Liberal Democrats on May 2nd in the Stansted South & Birchanger ward said: "The proposed contribution by MAG to road infrastructure is paltry. It will leave places like Stansted Mountfitchet and Birchanger suffering badly from traffic congestion and air pollution. The same applies to other communities in the vicinity of the airport. The airport should be contributing towards truly affordable housing for airport employees, as BAA, the previous airport owner, did. MAG's contributions towards local good causes are miserly compared with other airports' compensation. Uttlesford Tories must not be allowed to double-cross the area with a sell-out to big business."