On Wednesday 12th February, Sir David Amess, Member of Parliament for Southend West, held a meeting with Glyn Jones, CEO of Southend Airport and Alison Griffin, Chief Executive of Southend Borough Council. The purpose of the meeting was to share with them the growing list of complaints from constituents regarding air pollution, night flights and other associated matters.
Sir David left them in no doubt that this is an issue which is not going to go away and which needs action now. He told them that the night flights as presently constituted were unacceptable, pollution levels were a worry and that some residents living adjacent to the Charlie Taxiway wanted their properties compulsory purchased.
The issue of the Section 106 Planning Agreement was discussed at length and it transpired that any changes would have to be mutually agreed between the airport and the council. It would appear that the airport authorities at this moment do not want to change the Section 106 Agreement and the Council have not yet taken a decision on the matter.
In terms of scrutiny, the Airport Consultative Committee seems to be key to monitoring what is happening at the airport. Sir David is sending all members of the committee the most recent list of resident complaints. He hopes that these complaints can be addressed satisfactorily under present legislation. However, if the only way to get some action done is to change the legislation, he will pursue the matter further. Sir David has expressed his hope that common sense will prevail and that the two parties involved in this issue will act quickly to reassure complainants.