6 week consultation on Heathrow’s north west runway ends – criticised for not being transparent
Heathrow has been conducting a somewhat minimalistic 6-week consultation on its plan for a new runway to the north west. The questions in the consultation (only really 2 questions, with scope for further comments) are only on factors to take in to account, and whether more people should be affected by a slightly smaller amount of aircraft niose, if fewer people should be subjected to a larger amount (dispersal or concentration). The consultation is not whether those consulted want a new runway. The public consultation sessions are now ended. The consultation did not mention the Heathrow Hub proposal for an extension of the northern runway. A Heathrow spokesman said: “We will take your opinions into account as we look to refine our north-west runway proposal…” Those opposed to the plans have been critical of the consultation, saying it has been neither honest nor transparent. Heathrow has been disingenuous in making no effort to show where the landing flight paths would go, making informed comment impossible. Either way there will be more aircraft noise for many thousands of homes. Claims that the airport will have 20 – 30% more flights and be “quieter” (properly defined) are manifestly not logical.
Hundreds attend Heathrow consultation events on north-west runway proposal
- By Salina Patel (Get West London)
Have your say on the Heathrow consultation due to close on Sunday
Residents piled into two exhibition days, held at the Holiday Inn, in Brentford, and the Civic Centre, in Hounslow, last week.
The sessions were set up to provide people with the chance to learn more about the proposal, voice their concerns and meet members of the Heathrow team.
The days were part of a six-week consultation by the airport in light of the shortlisting of a new runway or a longer existing runway by the Davies Commission, which is investigating airport expansion in the south-east of England.
Nigel Milton, director of policy and public relations said: “I would like to say a big thank you to all those in the area that have taken part in Heathrow’s local consultation in the past few weeks.
“Whether you have shared your views online or attended one of the consultation events which have taken place around the airport, we are really grateful to you for taking the time to do this.
“We will take your opinions into account as we look to refine our north-west runway proposal for the consideration of the Airports Commission in May.
“Should a third runway be recommended by the Commission and approved by the Government, it is in everyone’s interest to work together to make sure our plans are developed in the best way possible.”
However the consultation has been met with some disapproval, particularly from councillor for Brentford, Ruth Cadbury, who said ‘this so-called consultation is neither honest nor transparent’.
She said: “Heathrow Airport is consulting not on whether residents want a third runway, but which of two sites north of the current airport should be chosen.
“Furthermore, they are not prepared to show where the landing paths would go.
“Both would mean extra noise for many thousands of homes.
“By my calculations the landing path would be centred over the heart of Heston, the Sky TV studios, Brentford Station, Griffin Park, Kew Bridge, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Hogarth estate.
“Heathrow airport need to be honest with the public, and with the Davies Commission, about the impact of their proposals.”
Heathrow has now hosted all 14 of its consultation events in local areas across west London.
People who did not get a chance to attend an event can still have their say on the issues most important to them through the online consultations, which will remain open until this Sunday.
Information from the public consultation will then be collated and the north-west runway proposal refined accordingly.
It will then be resubmitted in May.
(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:
Heathrow consultation starts – 140,000 leaflets distributed – as airport hopes to minimise opposition on noise increase
February 3, 2014
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. Click here to view full story…
Heathrow to hold 6 week consultation (starting 3rd Feb) with households on their north-west runway plan
January 17, 2014
Heathrow will start a six week consultation with local households on 3rd February, lasting till 17th March. It will ask for their views on Heathrow’s own short-listed north-west third runway plan. The airport wants to get its application as acceptable as possible to locals, to give it more chance of being permitted. “The results will help Heathrow understand what is most important to local residents and will be used to refine the runway proposal before it is resubmitted to the Airports Commission in May.” The consultation will be by post, and will be sent to the 120,000 households and businesses likely to be most impacted by the proposed plans. Those outside this area will have the opportunity to share their views online. There will also be drop-in events in nine local areas, to give people the chance to ask questions and “influence the plans.” The results will be shared with the Airports Commission, as part of Heathrow’s evidence. Heathrow knows that the issue of noise is key, and they will fail in their runway plans if there is strong enough opposition by enough people, on noise. They are hoping “mitigation” measures will be enough to reduce opposition. In reality people from huge areas of London, currently hardly affected by Heathrow aircraft noise, would be affected by this runway. Click here to view full story…
Map above (from AirportWatch, not from Heathrow) indicates the likely approach route (orange line) for the North West runway, from the east (on westerlies) The runway might be 200 metres further south, if they try and save Harmondsworth Tithe Barn (see map of that option).