MP attacks Government over go-ahead for airport expansion

October 10, 2008 2:00 PM

David HowarthPlans to expand Stansted Airport, increasing flights by almost 25,000 a year, have been attacked as "extremely bad news" by Cambridge MP David Howarth.

Mr Howarth spoke out after Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon made the announcement in a written statement to Parliament.

He said: "This is just another example of Ministers who want to be seen to be talking about green issues but not willing to follow through with their actions.

"It is clear the Government is heavily influenced by the aviation industry and prepared to give in to their demands for greater profit without giving any consideration to the devastating effect this will have on the lives of those living near the airport and the huge increase in carbon emissions."

BAA, which owns the airport, wants to increase passenger numbers from 25 million to 32 million a year and flights leaving the airport will rise from 241,000 to 264,000 a year.

Planning permission for the expansion was originally refused by Uttlesford Council in November 2006 on grounds of noise and environmental concerns.

Mr Howarth added: "This is extremely bad news for the people of Stansted. At a time when we should be encouraging people to cut their carbon footprints, the Government has endorsed a project which will, not only add to carbon emissions but affect the quality of life for hundreds of people."

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