(2) which (a) individuals and (b) organisations he consulted regarding the expansion of Southend airport; if he will place in the Library copies of the representations he has received to date on this matter; and if he will make a statement;
(3) what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) departmental officials have had with representatives of BAA plc on proposals for the expansion of Southend airport in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement.
The Department for Transport has not consulted on the proposals to expand Southend airport, nor has it made any assessment of the effect of the proposed expansion on the local community in respect of road traffic or noise.
There have been no discussions between the Department for Transport and BAA on proposals for the expansion of Southend airport. Southend airport was purchased in December 2008 by Stobart Group Ltd. from Regional Airports Ltd.
“The Future of Air Transport” White Paper identified Southend airport as having a valuable role in meeting local demand and the potential to contribute to regional economic development. The White Paper supported further development in principle, subject to relevant environmental considerations. On 20 January Southend council made a decision to support the planning application for expansion proposals at Southend airport. The council’s recommendation has now been submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for him to consider whether to call in the application for his own determination.