EU demands improved Public Consultation Sept02

Bashir Khanbhai, Conservative MEP for the East of England, is demanding that the proposed expansion at Stansted airport becomes the first British project to be considered under the terms of a European Parliament report encouraging greater public participation in environmental decision-making.

The proposed Directive would require the 15 member states of the European Union to ensure that the public is properly informed about proposals for plans or programmes, and that relevant information about such proposals is made available to them. The public should also be able to express comments and opinions before decisions on the plans and programmes are made.

Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mr Khanbhai said: "This report is extremely important for the East of England in light of the current proposals for the massive expansion of Stansted airport.

"It is crucial that the local community is made aware of all the options available to them. This means giving better access to information on the proposals and keeping them fully informed of the ongoing developments.

"I call on the UK Government and British Airports Authority (BAA) to take into account the European Parliament's recommendations and ensure that the public is given the opportunity to participate fully in this consultation process before a final decision is made."

Mr Khanbhai is asking the BAA and the Department of Transport to provide a mobile exhibition on the plans for new and expanded airports in the South East to tour local communities around Stansted so that they are properly informed..