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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 12:05 GMT
Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign
This web page is part of a BBC News Online effort to explore new ways of covering grassroots civic activity in the UK. We asked our users to tell us of their activities and chose a handful of these campaigns to follow over the next few months. If you want to know more about this experiment, please

The Stop Stansted Expansion campaign is fighting the government's proposals to expand Stansted Airport. This is what they say about their campaign:

"The government is carrying out a consultation on expanding airport capacity across the UK and, in particular, in the south east. One of its proposals is to add up to three extra runways at Stansted where there is currently just one airstrip, making it into a giant 'hub' airport as big as Heathrow within nine years and double the size of Heathrow by 2030.

"This would mean that the number of passengers travelling through Stansted Airport each year would grow from 15 million to a staggering 82 million by 2011 and to 129 million within 30 years.

We launched the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign in early August 2002 to oppose these terrifying proposals

"We launched the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign in early August 2002, just after the consultation started, to oppose these terrifying proposals and to keep Stansted as an 'airport in the countryside'. We already have over 2500 members and high profile supporters including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and his family.

"As they stand, the proposals to increase the number of flights would create an intolerable noise burden over Bishop's Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and parts of Harlow as well as the whole of Uttlesford, Dedham Vale and parts of North Hertfordshire as well, affecting around three quarters of a million people.

"The plans would mean that scores of listed buildings, ancient lanes and woodland sites would also be lost forever. Around 4000 acres of beautiful and irreplaceable countryside and farmland would be covered in concrete, with whole communities and hundreds of homes wiped out for good.

"If allowed to go ahead, the plans would also mean overwhelming pressure on the local infrastructure: schools, hospitals and other services would all be unable to cope with the extra 90,000 employees that would be need to be attracted to the area if expansion took place. The roads, meanwhile, would be gridlocked, with experts predicting a quarter of a million extra cars per day travelling to and from the airport, leading to severe congestion, vehicle pollution and utter chaos for those trying to move around the region.

"To date, we have been very successful in our campaign activities and, thanks to our determination to fight the plans through every means possible, have even managed to quash the original consultation in the High Court on the grounds of unfairness.

"Now, in the extra time which the restarted consultation is giving us, we are redoubling our efforts to raise awareness of the case against further expansion at Stansted and to call on the government to think again about how it tackles predicted demand over the coming years."

Are you doing something similar in a different part of the country? Do you disagree with the campaigners? Do you have any suggestions for them? Would you like to contact them? Send your comments and suggestions using the form below. We will pass your messages on to the campaigners and will publish some of them online.

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