Crunch is nigh for £35m Stansted investment blueprint
London Stansted Airport has outlined its plans to invest £35 million over the next eight years to help ensure that Uttlesford remains one of the best places in the UK to live, work and do business.
Uttlesford District Council’s planning committee meets on January 24 to consider details of the mitigation measures that are part of the planning application submitted by Stansted that, if granted, would enable the airport to serve 43 million passengers a year.
Approval would trigger a considerable investment from the airport in addition to its existing commitments and deliver significant improvements to the district’s transport infrastructure, educational provision and environment.
Under the investment blueprint £12m of funding for local transport schemes will be generated from extending the airport’s current Sustainable Transport Fund to include revenue generated from its Express Set Down facility. This money will be invested in delivering sustainable travel schemes across Uttlesford and the further provision of public transport services and facilities.
A ring-fenced £1m fund will support new bus routes and encourage the use of new low emission vehicles.
More than £2m is earmarked for improving local roads within Uttlesford, including over £1m on upgrading J8 of the M11.
A generous Sound Insulation Grant Scheme (SIGS) for those living closest to the airport will be launched. This scheme would be available to more houses, be tiered up to £10,000 in value per household and require no contribution from the householder.
Funding will also be specifically allocated to 18 noise sensitive community facilities within the district, including five schools and two healthcare facilities.
Guaranteed ongoing support for the airport’s on-site College, Aerozone and Academy, will contribute to raising educational achievement and creating more job opportunities for local people.
The college is developing into the UK’s first centre of excellence for aviation skills and employment.
A revamped Community Trust Fund with increased funding of a minimum of £150,000 a year, will enable support for more local community projects, with parish and town councils now eligible to apply.
Airport chief executive Ken O’Toole, said: “We have listened to the community from the outset and remain absolutely committed to delivering additional passenger growth in a sustainable manner, without an increase in the number of permitted flights and within a smaller noise footprint than our existing permission requires.
“The independently reviewed environmental analysis of our application is clear. It shows that our comprehensive package of community, transport and environmental mitigation adheres to the tests set out in the planning process and will enable the benefits of a thriving Stansted to be fully realised while actively managing any environmental impacts associated with our future growth.
“There is no denying that the airport delivers substantial benefits to the Uttlesford, Essex and East of England economies. This comes in many forms, but most notably from the 12,000 people employed across the 200+ employers at the airport, including over 2,000 Uttlesford residents.
“Growth to 43 million passengers a year will generate 5,000 more jobs at the airport and a further £1 billion of additional economic and social benefit.
“We have been working hard with the council over recent months to better understand their concerns and have put forward proposals which are legally sound and present a proportionate mitigation package.
“We would hope the committee take this on board, along with the advice they have received from their own officers and independent legal advisors when they meet in the coming weeks.”
The airport, which recently unveiled its first route to India, has also opened up the Russian capital of Moscow through a service launched shortly before Christmas by Ural Airlines.
The new airline will connect passengers from across London and the east of England to the Russian capital’s Domodedovo airport four-times a week using an A320 aircraft offering business and economy class service on board the 160-seat aircraft.
Ural Airlines is one of Russia’s leading airlines serving nearly 10 million passengers a year across 200 destinations with a fleet of 46 aircraft.