Tory council whips through huge environmentally unsound Stansted airport expansion against wishes of residents and more than 40 parish councils

R4U is disappointed that the Conservative led Uttlesford District Council has pushed through a huge expansions of Stansted Airport against many residents wishes and without the estimated £1.2 billon of required rail and motorway upgrades, and mitigation of environmental and community impacts.

Stansted Airport has secured planning approval from Uttlesford District Council to significantly expand airport capacity to 43 million passengers a year; last year 25.9 million used it.

John Lodge (R4U)John Lodge
R4U Chair & Leader UDC

Residents for Uttlesford chair Cllr John Lodge said “Uttlesford District Council has just approved Stansted Airport to grow to the current size of Gatwick. The airport is a large employer and economically important to the region, but it is a business that is run for profit. That means that on behalf of residents, R4U demands that it must pay its way as well as being environmental sound. The proposal that was whipped through by the Conservative council cabinet is poor and does not serve the future of the district well. That is why R4U, more than 40 parish councils, and 1/2 the district planning committee don’t support it.”

“At the planning meeting the 3 R4U committee members questioned, probed, and championed on behalf of residents. The council was not able to properly answer the most basic questions on the environmental and other impacts. The council leadership also failed to secure the estimated £1.2 billon of road and rail upgrades from the airport required to support the expansion – even though Department for Transport Secretary of State has confirmed to us that he expects the airport to pay for the required infrastructure improvements. As a result our local environment, communities and transport will all be worse off. We will now write again to the Secretary of State to ‘call in’ this application for national determination.”

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties. R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In the May 2019 R4U gained majority control of UDC winning two-thirds of the seats. The result delivered the biggest loss of seats by any UK Conservative controlled council in the UK. In 2021 the party won half the Essex County Council seats in Uttlesford district.

R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at