Stansted airport expansion ‘unwanted and unviable,’ says Essex council

Essex County Council has commented that the plans to expand Stansted Airport into a four-runway ‘super-hub’ were ‘unwanted and unviable,’ according to a report by the BBC.

In July, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the owners of Stansted Airport, submitted its expansion plans to the government-appointed Airports Commission, headed by former Financial Services Authority chairman, Sir Howard Davies. MAG’s proposal calls for an additional runway that could increase Stansted’s capacity to 70 to 90 million passengers a year, or the building of a GBP10bn ‘hub’ with four runways with a capacity of up to 160 million passengers.

Charlie Cornish, MAG’s chief executive, has said previously that developing Stansted would be a ‘pragmatic approach.’

The airport said the Hub proposal was one of ‘a number of long-term options.’ ‘We can double the number of flights today by 130,000 without any need for significant investment in new infrastructure, and have submitted a number of long-term options for consideration by the Airports Commission,’ an airport spokesperson said.

Council leader, David Finch, has now told the Airports Commission that the super-hub plans were ‘completely unacceptable to Essex residents.’

Finch said: ‘The UK does not have the time or the money to waste on unpractical or undeliverable schemes that could suck up a sum of taxpayer’s money equivalent to twice the UK’s defence budget. Any proposal for a giant super-hub airport at Stansted is completely unacceptable to the council and Essex residents.’

He added: ‘If ministers in London do impose further capacity on our airport, they need to know that a bill comes with that. We would need assurances that the environmental impact would be minimised and that there would be massive investment in road and rail infrastructure for Essex.’

Peter Sanders, Stop Stansted Expansion chairman, has alleged earlier that the MAG proposals had been ‘framed’ in an ‘unenthusiastic, half-hearted way.’ ‘We will be doing everything possible to convince the Airports Commission to reject the idea of any new runways at Stansted,’ he said.

The council has told the commission that it favours ‘sensible growth’ and agrees that additional runway capacity is ‘likely to be inevitable in the long term.’

The Airports Commission will consider MAG’s proposals for Stansted alongside expansion proposals it has received for Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham, and plans for a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

The commission is due to produce a shortlist by the end of the year and will offer its final recommendations in two years’ time.

Marbella stag and hen dos feel the Essex effect

Since TV show The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) flew out to Marbella, bookings for stag and hen parties to the Spanish resort have jumped by 63%, according to the world’s leading, and only award winning hen and stag party provider, Redseven.

To satisfy the wild demand, Redseven has launched ‘No carbs before Marbs’, a hen weekend package created for fans of the show looking for the ultimate VIP beach and club experience.

As well as pre-booked transfers to the hotel, there’s two nights accommodation, VIP beach club and guest list entry into one of the resort’s top clubs.

The stars of ITV2’s BAFTA-winning half-reality show have been running wild in the resort, on what appears to be a shoot for a one-off special – and thanks to all the media coverage, hens and stags are clearly deciding to follow suit.

Lydia, Lauren, Lucy, Sam, and Jessica all ditched fake tan for some of the real stuff and did what most hens would do: get straight into pool mode. Fans will have noted that the boys, rarely scared of a little spray-on, were quick to follow and grab a deckchair.

“Since The Only Way is Essex cast flew out to Marbella we’ve seen a huge surge in bookings from those wanting to follow suit, and rightly so, since Marbella has a vibrant party scene and beautiful beaches to relax on the following day” says Ian Lucas, founder and CEO of Redseven.

Marbella hen weekends have long been popular with groups. At just two-and-a-half-hours’ flight time and packed with glitzy nightclubs and bars, the resort town is used to Brits flying in to party.

As well as excellent beaches and traditional tapas, there’s all the modern attractions expected by young, perfectly preened pseudo-starlets.

“This extra demand is no sweat for Redseven as our customers enjoy unrivalled access to all that’s great, plus we have a local office with representatives – available exclusively with Redseven, as we’re the only company with our own operations actually in resort.”