R4U commits to ‘fairer deal’ with Stansted Airport as Secretary of State refuses Public Inquiry on expansion

Residents For Uttlesford is disappointed that the Secretary of State has refused a Public Inquiry into the Stansted Airport expansion after what it says was a ‘faulty’ approval, and that it has committed to striking a ‘fairer deal’ with the airport.

In 2018 Stansted Airport secured planning approval from Uttlesford District Council to significantly expand airport capacity to the same size as Gatwick. Last week the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government wrote to UDC inform them that he did not intend to undertake a Public Inquiry on the expansion.

Garry LeCount (R4U) Garry LeCount (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Garry LeCount, district councillor for nearby Elsenham and Henham, said “R4U has written to the Secretary of State a number of times about the expansion of Stansted Airport. It is disappointing that he has refused local communities a Public Inquiry as happened with the 3rd runway at Heathrow. This is just another example of Westminster politics not working for local people.”

Cllr Garry LeCount continued “We believe that the expansion decision was faulty and politically pushed through by the UDC leadership without the required evidence. UDC has not been able to even answer any of the most basic questions on the environmental and other impacts. The UDC leadership has also failed to secure the estimated £1.2 billon of road and rail upgrades from the airport required to support the approved expansion to the size of Gatwick. That is not right. They have cheated residents out of what we need to reduce the impacts of what will be a huge airport in our countryside. We are calling on the district council not to ink the final approval until they agree a better deal.”

R4U’s Garry LeCount concluded “If the current Conservative UDC Leadership won’t do it, we will. If we are elected to run UDC after the May local elections, R4U has committed to striking a fairer deal with the airport to balance employment with their responsibility to deal with dirty air, noise, road and rail congestion, and village fly-parking. They need to limit antisocial night flights and invest more in our local infrastructure, transport and economy.”

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 www.residents4u.org.