The UK High Court has rejected the Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) appeal against the decision to permit Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to review the airport expansion.

In 2018, the airport submitted the plans to increase its capacity to 43 million passengers annually without adding to the number of flights allowed. The proposal was submitted to the UDC for local consideration.

Additionally, the UK Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps stated that the project was not a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and the proposal could be reviewed by the UDC.

However, the SSE challenged the decision against the UK Department for Transport (DfT). Last November, the case was presented in the High Court.

SSE hoped that the proposal would be reviewed by a national body rather than the local UDC. The organisation challenged the decision on two arguments.

It first stated that as the airport development would help in an increase of more than ten million passengers each year, it would qualify under section 23 of the Planning Act 2008 and would be an NSIP.

It also mentioned that even if it wouldn’t qualify as an NSIP, the DfT should consider the development as NSIP, which would result in the implementation of the special planning process

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The claim was dismissed on both grounds by Justice Dove.

A London Stansted Airport spokesperson stated: “We welcome this unequivocal dismissal of Stop Stansted Expansion’s appeal.

“This judgment confirms what we, the DfT and MHCLG have said all along – that this application does not raise matters of national significance and should be dealt with and considered properly as any other local planning application. It is deeply regrettable that a significant amount of taxpayers’ money has been wasted in this way.”

SSE chairman Peter Sanders said: “We are currently considering our options because there are different procedures to be followed depending on whether this application ends up being dealt with through the traditional appeal process of a public inquiry or is designated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

“The NSIP process would be less expensive and less resource-intensive than a public inquiry for both SSE and Uttlesford District Council.”