Villages opposing a new runway either to the north, or south, of Heathrow unite in their opposition
Stanwell and its neighbouring communities are uniting to oppose plans to expand Heathrow. More than 100 people packed a meeting at the Grade I-listed St Mary’s Church for a debate on Heathrow’s expansion plans. The meeting agreed that villages north and south of Heathrow should be protected and moves to demolish them fought. There was one exception – a councillor from Spelthorne Borough Council (which wants Heathrow expansion, but not in their borough – to the north instead. Rather irresponsible to try and pass the misery to another borough …). “Her words were met with jeers.” The 3 main speakers at the meeting were Father William Whittaker, Surrey county councillor Robert Evans and John Stewart, of HACAN. John said the case for a 3rd runway still does not add up. Some 725,000 people now live under the Heathrow flight path, and if a 3rd runway was built, that would rise by 150,000. Geraldine Nicholson, who led the No Third Runway Action Group (NOTRAG) also spoke and was warmly received. Further meetings are planned, with residents now looking to form their own action group.
Councillor jeered over Heathrow village demolition support
Campaigners and councillor clash as more than 100 residents attend meeting to discuss Heathrow Airport’s controversial expansion plans
Stanwell and its neighbouring communities are uniting under a single banner to oppose plans to expand Heathrow.
More than 100 people packed a meeting at the Grade I-listed St Mary’s Church for a debate on the airport’s expansion plans. The future of the ancient church itself could be in jeopardy.
The meeting agreed that villages north and south of Heathrow should be protected and moves to demolish them fought.
The notable exception was Councillor Marian Rough, who had the task of explaining why Spelthorne Borough Council remains in favour of a scheme so passionately opposed by those present.
Asked why the council is in favour of demolishing villages north of the airport, she replied that the motion passed by the borough’s cabinet stated that northern expansion was cheaper and quicker. Her words were met with jeers.
The three main speakers at the meeting were Father William Whittaker, who also chaired the meeting, Surrey county councillor Robert Evans and John Stewart, of Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise.
The audience listened to arguments about Heathrow expanding and threats to jobs if it doesn’t. Mr Stewart said they beat a third runway proposal before, and would again and again as the case still does not add up.
He said: “According to the EU, there are currently 725,000 people living under the Heathrow flight path – 28% of all people impacted by aircraft noise across Europe.
“If a third runway was built it would add another 150,000 to that figure. Just under a million people would be living under the flightpath. That would surpass any figure of any airport anywhere in the world.”
He urged people to write to their MPs to let them know their views.
One person who took to the floor and ended with rapturous applause was Geraldine Nicholson, who led the No Third Runway Action Group (NOTRAG).
She spoke of a decade of campaigning against previous proposals. These new plans had brought her out of a three-year hiatus. She urged the audience to unite, warning that the reality could be far worse than the maps Heathrow was using.
Further meetings are planned, with residents now looking to form their own action group.
Stanwell Moor Village is under threat from a third runaway Picture: Alex Lentati
Packed public meeting in Stanwell Moor hears of threat of 850 house demolitions, noise and blight from Heathrow runway plans
Stanwell Community Centre opens for business
A range of activities are now on offer to Spelthorne residents at the newly built Stanwell Community Centre in Mulberry Avenue, Stanwell.
The Centre, located next to the Chestnut Court extra-care housing scheme, has been developed by A2Dominion in partnership with Spelthorne Council as part of the Stanwell New Start regeneration programme.
Spelthorne Council has use of the Centre for several hours each week for community activities.
Both Spelthorne Council and A2Dominion have been consulting with residents to find out what sort of activities they would like to see offered at the new Community Centre and which days/times would suit them best.
With the results of the consultations in mind, Spelthorne Council has put together a varied programme of activities for the first month with taster sessions being offered in a range of activities including singing, gentle exercise classes, quizzes, games, bingo and chair based exercises: …………
The location of the Community Centre is directly under the final part of the approach path of the proposed southern runway – see map below, and compare with map above. It would be in the PSZ – the Public Safety Zone, where building is restricted.
Rather inconsistently, Spelthorne Borough Council is very much in favour of Heathrow expansion. But they want it to expand in someone else’s borough, not theirs:
Spelthorne Council responds to Davies Commission
Spelthorne Council is strongly supporting the future expansion of Heathrow Airport with a third runway although it is firmly against the South West option which would devastate Stanwell Moor, Stanwell and Ashford North.
This approach was given approval by the Council’s Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday night (24 September). It follows consultation by the Davies Commission on all the proposals submitted to it for improved airport capacity in the UK.
Cllr Gething, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “It is vital that Heathrow’s status as the leading airport in Europe is maintained because this is critical to the economy of the UK, the South East and locally. Spelthorne’s residents and local businesses are very reliant on Heathrow and ideas by some for alternative locations for a new airport or simply not meeting future needs would be economically disastrous.
It is clear that a new runway to the north west of the airport is by far the quickest, cheapest and least complex option for providing a new full length runway at Heathrow. The south west option, which involves building over Stanwell Moor, would cause enormous environmental problems for residents in Stanwell, Ashford and Staines and also cost more and take three years longer to build. In reality this option is a non-starter.”
The Davies Commission is due to reduce the 50 or so submissions it has received to a handful of options and is expected to consult on these in December 2013, with a final report due in mid-2015.