BOSSES at Stansted Airport have won their battle to boost passenger numbers to 43 million a year.

Uttlesford Council had turned down a planning application to increase capacity at the airport from 35 million.

But Stansted appealed and today got the decision overturned by the Planning Inspectorate.

Stansted managing director Steve Griffiths said: "We welcome the decision of the Planning Inspectorate to grant permission to increase the number of passengers London Stansted is able to serve following the recent independent public inquiry.

“Our original planning application to serve up to 43 million passengers a year followed extensive public engagement and set out how the airport could grow with no additional flights and a reduced noise limit.

"Throughout, the aim was to provide clarity and certainty for local communities and we feel today’s decision is a strong endorsement of our approach and the strength of the case we made at the inquiry.

“The Planning Inspectorate’s decision provides clear assurance to local communities that Stansted’s growth can be delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.

"This decision allows us, the community and our airline partners to plan ahead with certainty."

Braintree and Witham Times:

Mr Griffiths added: “We always believed that Uttlesford Council failed to provide any credible or substantiated reasons to justify refusing the application, while ignoring the clear advice it received from its own officers and expert legal advisors, and this belief is borne out with the inspectors’ conclusion that planning permission should have been granted by the council and the appeal should not have been necessary.

“We will now take time to study the full detail of the decision before commenting further.”

The decision grants planning permission for two new taxiway links to the existing runway, six additional remote aircraft stands and three additional aircraft stands.

Campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion claims the impact will be a "dramatic deterioration in the quality of life for tens of thousands of local people".

The group said it would mean more more noise, an increase in night flights and put huge pressure on the road and rail network with millions of extra passengers, as well as damaging air quality and leading to more carbon emissions.

But the Planning Inspectorate said Uttlesford Council's reasons for refusing the plans were "imprecise, vague and unsubstantiated", and "did not stand up to scrutiny".

It also ordered the council to pay Stansted Airport's appeal proceedings costs.