Stansted Airport expansion refused

The Planning Committee at Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) led Uttlesford District Council has refused the proposed expansion of Stansted Airport.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG), who own and operate Stansted Airport, submitted a planning application to Uttlesford District Council to expand the airport capacity to more than 43 million passengers a year. The proposal would more than double passenger numbers from the 18 million a year that used the airport when MAG took it over in 2013. By comparison 78 million passengers use Heathrow and 46 million Gatwick, both of which currently have 2 runways.

In a statement after the decision R4U’s Cllr John Lodge, Leader at Uttlesford District Council said:

John Lodge (R4U) John Lodge (R4U)

“The UDC administration resolutely supports its Planning Committee decision to refuse the expansion of Stansted Airport. It found material and sound planning reasons why the application should not be approved. Expanding Stansted up to the size of Gatwick is unnecessary as it can continue to be a major employer and contributor to the regional economy without this expansion.”

“Crucially any expansion is incompatible with the council’s own Climate & Environmental Emergency, and at odds with the government’s carbon net-zero 2050 target. The airport is a for-profit business and it needs to play its part. It is likely that the airport’s owners will appeal this decision, leading to the first test case that pits the demands of the private transport sector against the moral imperative on us all to halt climate change. If that happens we would hope that environmental groups would join the defence of any appeal.”

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 took majority control of UDC by gaining two-thirds of the seats. Since then it has set about re-engineering the now award-winning council operates, rebuilding the finances and fixing how planning is done. 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