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Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport



******** NEW WEBSITE **********








There's lots of different ways to get involved in SEMA.  We're looking for people to help with blogging, the website, building links with Trade Unions and local residents, researching Manchester Airport itself and conjuring up new events to keep the issue in the public eye. 


SEMA meetings are on the last Wednesday of every month at 7pm - provisionally at the University of Manchester Students' Union.


Email:  info[at]stopmanchesterairport.org.uk




Manchester Council announce their Climate Change 'Call-to-Action'


Manchester City Council announced their 'Call to Action' on climate change last Wednesday 14th January.  This stated plans are to reduce the City's emissions by one third by 2020. 


"Great!" we thought, surely if the Council owns 55% of Manchester Airport Group (MAG - which also owns Nottingham East Midlands, Humberside and Bournemouth – and are considering buying Gatwick) then surely this 'Call to Action' would have to curtail the Airport's ambitions by 2030?


Alas no.  The Council simply washed their hands of this issue.  Council Chair, Sir Richard Leese replied that they can't legally constrain the Airport and that if the planes didn't fly out from Manchester then it would probably be from somewhere else, causing more pollution.  


Following this logic, extending the airport is the only sensible way to stop more CO2 emissions.  Intriguingly two of MAG's directors, Brian Harrison and lord Peter Smith are also Manchester Councillors.


The Council Executive stuck by their plans for a 'Green Airport'.   This involves the continued support for the Airport's growth whilst helping it to achieve its aim of becoming carbon neutral.  Unfortunately this carbon neutrality will not include the emissions from the planes.   Finding credibility in the Manchester's climate change plans is like attempting to nail jelly to a wall -the harder you try, the more it falls apart. 


This article is based on a blog from Manchester Climate Fortnightly.



Also see:  Manchester Evening News coverage



The Northern Climate Rush     -



Monday 12th January 2009

Terminal 3, Manchester Airport.


For VIDEO footage see



Around 50 climate change activists gathered in Terminal 3 of Manchester Airport last night to protest against airport expansion and domestic flights. The demo mirrored the Climate Rush ‘Dinner at Departures’ protest at Heathrow’s Terminal 1 at the same time.


There are around 32 flights a day between Manchester and the London hubs, despite the high speed rail connection.


The protests at Manchester and Heathrow airports was a follow up to the first http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/london/2008/10/410761.html">Climate Rush on October 13th 2008. This date marked the centenary of the Suffragettes’ rush on Parliament to demand women's right to vote.


The protesters dressed in Edwardian period arrived to find Terminal 3 locked down with around 70 police officers, including Forward Intelligence Teams from the Metropolitan police. They were read parts of the Riot Act before entering a ‘designated protest area’.


Former Manchester City Councillor, Vanessa Hall, who attended the Northern Climate Rush said:

“ With the speed of intercity trains there is no longer any just or sensible reason to take domestic flights. All expansion plans, including those at Manchester and Heathrow should be shelved. Passenger numbers at Manchester Airport have been falling for at least the last 6 months.”


She added, “In a time of recession and climate crisis, government money should be spent on improvements to rail, trams, and buses, not on subsidies and infrastructure for the aviation industry.”


Aviation accounts for 13% of UK global warming emissions and is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases. Airlines pay no tax on aviation fuel, costing the public purse an estimated £10 billion.

Manchester Airport claims it intends to go carbon neutral by 2015 - but this will not include the emissions from the aeroplanes.


Other press coverage






Rose Cottage decision postponed


The decision to delay the Rose Cottage decision has been delayed for the following reason.

The information English Heritage (EH) wanted off the Airport's agents, White Young Green (WYG), has not been sent over.


WYG were supposed to supply EH with either plans that incorporate Rose Cottage within the development (which they have resisted) OR information over WHY they cannot incorporate Rose Cottage within the development.

It's very important that WYG gets this right due to PPG15 - the most important bits being:


"...The Secretaries of State would not expect listed building consent to be granted for demolition unless the authority is satisfied that real efforts have been made without success to continue the present use or to find compatible alternative uses for the building...

...There may very exceptionally be cases where the proposed works would bring substantial benefits for the community which have to be weighed against the arguments in favour of preservation. Even here, it will often be feasible to incorporate listed buildings within new development, and this option should be carefully considered: the challenge presented by retaining listed buildings can be a stimulus to imaginative new design to accommodate them..."


What this delay means


The Airport (or in this case, their agents' WYG), are NOT sympathetic to their suggested compromise, and they left with the opinion that they would simply get reasons why the compromise could not be reached. They said if that's the case, they would continue to oppose the plans.


If WYG are writing up the reasons why they can't compromise, then they have to make sure they are very good reasons, as stated above: unless the authorityis satisfied that real efforts have been made without success to continue the present use or to find compatible alternative uses for the building...


And those are the key words: "REAL EFFORTS". If WYG don't demonstrate that they have put in enough "REAL EFFORT" to incorporate, and we can demonstrate this at the hearing, then under PPG15 they should (in theory) refuse.


If on the other hand, this delay is because WYG can't find feasible reasons why they can't incorporate Rose Cottage into the design, then they may be re-designing the thing, and this is why it's delayed. If this is the case then it may be more than a few weeks delayed as it would require a substantial effort to re-draw the plans and possibly re-consult the statutory bodies (Police, GMPTE, etc).


You can voice your objection to the demolition of Rose Cottage by following the steps below:

Go to:


The application can be found through application search as


Click on: 'click to view' and then submit your comments






Tea Party success

Sunday 23rd November 2008


For Channel M video footage and MEN write up see http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1081365_tea_party_airport_protest


 PROTESTERS staged a tea party in the grounds of an historic cottage to show their opposition to plans to expand Manchester Airport.

Airport bosses want to build a £20m extension to the freight terminal on land off Runger Lane, Wythenshawe.

They have applied for permission to demolish Grade II-listed Rose Cottage and three other historic properties nearby, as well as a natural pond and dozens of mature trees.



Environmental campaigners, politicians and locals braved chilly winds and rain for the tea party at the 400-year-old cottage on Hasty Lane.

Lib Dem councillor Martin Eakins said: "These plans were drawn up before we entered recession. The arguments for local air flight expansion didn't add up then, and they've lost further credibility since.

"The airport should do the right thing and withdraw these barbaric plans before its reputation is totally discredited."



The plans are expected to go before the main planning committee next month.

A spokesman for Manchester Airport said: “Rose Cottage and the area around it have been proposed for airport development since 1974 and we have kept our tenants informed of the plans.

“The long term prospects for aviation freight are strong, and we want to continue to build upon the success that Manchester Airport has provided for our region in terms of economic growth.”

The airport forecasts cargo using its World Freight Centre will increase from the current 166,000 tonnes to more than 271,000 tonnes by 2015. They say both units, measuring 196,000sq ft and 50,000sq ft, would create 60 jobs. The extension is part of the airport's massive expansion programme between now and 2030, enabling it to cope with 50m passengers a year and a huge amount of freight.




Flashmob Success!

Tuesday 23rd September


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 M Channel Video

Flashmob photos 1

Flashmob photos 2


Manchester Politics Society coverage

 MEN Report


SEMA Press Release


Over 100 campaigners staged a colourful flashmob against airport expansion at midday today outside Manchester Town Hall. The group included London campaigners opposed to the expansion of Heathrow. The flashmob was timed to coincide with the Labour Party Conference. At 12.45 precisely the campaigners stripped off to reveal red t-shirts with the words ‘Stop Airport Expansion’ emblazoned across them. They then lay down to form the words 'TAKE TRAINS' with their bodies. The protest marked the public launch of the recently formed 'Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport' (SEMA) group (1). Robbie Gillett, from SEMA, said, "It is madness to be expanding airports when the threat of climate change is hanging over us. Manchester Airport is already responsible for the same amount of CO2 emissions in one year as the entire economy of Uganda. More flights at Manchester will mean more emissions and more noise for local communities." John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, the London group which campaigns against the expansion of Heathrow Airport, said, "This Flashmob marks another step in our high-profile campaign to stop expansion at Heathrow. It also shows how campaign groups are linking up to oppose expansion plans across the country." The flashmob was inspired by similar events at the opening of Heathrow Terminal 5 and outside the Department for Transport in London earlier this year.

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