Uttlesford District Council (UDC) are being pressurised to grant approval for the planning application to expand Stansted Airport.

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has condemned Stansted Airport for orchestrating the ‘Project Fear’ campaign.

The planning application for growth to 43 million passengers per annum was first introduced in 2018.

In recent week business leaders representing local Chambers of Commerce and Visit East of England have accused UDC of causing economic damage to the region as a result of their decision to re-examine the application.

It has been suggested that the Council’s decision is putting ‘thousands of jobs at risk’.

However, currently the airport has permission to handle 35 million passengers but last year handled fewer than 28 million. The airports own assessment is that it won’t reach the current 35 million limit for at least four years.

SSE Deputy Chairman Brain Ross commented: “Stansted Airport and its friends in the business community need to get real- both in relation to the dubious economic benefits of expanding and the far-reaching environmental consequences.

“They should also desist from seeking to bully and intimidate the democratically elected local council members who have a responsibility to consider the wider picture.

“SSE has argued from the very beginning, that this planning application should be determined nationally rather than local. That remains out position.”

Stansted is already the biggest single source of carbon emissions in the East of England and the risks posed to business, and the population at large, by climate change are of a far greater magnitude than the benefits which would accrue from a few million more passenger.

SSE is pursuing a judicial review challenge aimed at forcing the planning application to be dealt with nationally rather than locally. The case has been scheduled for a three-day hearing in the High Court from November 12-14.