Heathrow consultation starts – 140,000 leaflets distributed – as airport hopes to minimise opposition on noise increase
Heathrow airport has started its 6-week consultation, to ask people living near the airport how they can “improve” on their runway plans – and reduce opposition to it as much as possible. The airport is sending out 140,000 short (12 page) booklets, to many neighbouring boroughs, but not Richmond (where there is fierce opposition). The thrust of the consultation is on noise. It is extremely simplistic, and should not really be considered as a proper consultation. Except for people motivated to write a lot of their own text, there is no simple way to say “No, we do not support a new runway” in the consultation response form itself. There are no questions along those lines. The form only has two questions – the first asking respondents to rank a list of criteria; the second asking if people think it is more important to have fewer communities living under flight paths affected more badly, or more communities affected a bit less. There is stunningly little detail. Colin Matthews says: “This consultation is to make sure we correctly understand what local people value and that we can take their views into account as we refine our proposal.” Everyone with an interest in Heathrow and its runway plans should reply to the questionnaire, and tell Heathrow just what they think, in the space for responses in Question 3. The consultation ends on 16th March.
Heathrow consultation starts today
3rd February 2014
By Amy Dyduch (Wimbledon Guardian)
Heathrow’s six-week consultation asking for views on a fourth runway [sic !!?? – means 3rd] at the airport has launched today.
The airport wants feedback on its north-west runway plan, which has been shortlisted by the Davies Commission.
Heathrow’s chief executive Colin Matthews said: “We believe our proposal to expand Heathrow is the right way to deliver the capacity Britain needs to connect to fast growing economies around the world.
“This consultation is to make sure we correctly understand what local people value and that we can take their views into account as we refine our proposal.”
Richmond Council leader Lord True said: “We know what the residents of this borough feel; no new runway, no more night flights, no expansion of Heathrow.
“They proved that by turning out in their tens of thousands at our referendum last year.
“Faced with the recent dismal report by the Davies Commission we need to be united and unequivocal in our opposition to expansion.”
For the consultation questionnaire, visit heathrow.com/localcommunity.
(12 short pages including many maps and diagrams).
This is the entire “interactive consultation document.”
How to respond:
People can respond online, or they can ring a number to have a phone interview. Those who receive the booklets through the door can respond on the Freepost form, or they can attend one of the public exhibitions that are planned.
This is the entire online consultation response form content:
Shaping Heathrow’s north west runway proposal
A public consultation: 3 February – 16 March 2014
What factors do you think are the most important when planning a new runway?
All the factors listed below are important to local residents to varying degrees. Your response to this question helps us understand your priorities.
Please rank your top five in order of importance from 1 to 5 (1 = most important)
Loss of homes and businesses
National economic benefits
Range of national/international flight destinations
Viability of local communities
Which of the following statements best matches your attitude to noise relief from aircraft and the number of communities living beneath flight paths?
– Providing periods of significant noise relief for all communities is more important than limiting the number of communities living beneath flight paths.
– Limiting the number of communities living beneath flight paths is more important than providing periods of significant noise relief for all communities.
– Don’t know
How can we improve our proposal for a new runway?
Please use the space below to tell us your ideas or to mention any other factors not covered by Questions 1 and 2.
There is the opportunity of saying a lot more, in response to Question 3. The document says:
The consultation response form, such as it is, is at http://www.heathrowairport.com/about-us/company-news-and-information/airports-commission/local-community/consultation-response-form
Shaping Heathrow’s north west runway proposal
A public consultation – 3 February to 16 March 2014
3.2.2014 (Heathrow airport website)
In December 2013 the Airports Commission, an independent body set up by the Government, included Heathrow on its shortlist of options for additional runway capacity in the UK.
Of the three proposals Heathrow Airport submitted, our option for a runway to the north west of Heathrow is the one that’s been shortlisted for the further detailed consideration.
There’s still much work to do to refine our proposal before the Commission makes its final recommendation to Government in 2015. As part of this work, we are now consulting with residents and the businesses likely to be most affected.
Since we first published our outline plans for a new runway, we have welcomed comments and feedback from local residents. We really do want to hear your views.
This consultation provides another opportunity to say what you think about our proposal and the issues that are most important to you.
This site contains information on our proposal for a new runway at Heathrow, the next steps in the Airports Commission process and how you can help us shape our proposal.
You can complete the consultation response form right away by using the link to the right of this page. You may find it useful, though, to learn more about the consultation by reading the interactive consultation document.
You can also use the links on the left to find out more about our proposals and the public exhibition sessions we will be holding across the local area during the consultation.
The public consultation runs from 3rd February to 16th March. I hope you will take this opportunity to get involved and let us know your thoughts on the future of Heathrow.
On the issue of property compensation the consultation document says:
John Stewart, chairman of anti-Heathrow expansion campaign group HACAN, has branded the consultation a ‘PR exercise’. The real issue is whether a new runway is needed in the first place.