Concerns raised at Stanwell meeting on Heathrow expansion plans for incinerator, flood pit and car park
Proposals for a new flood pit, car park and incinerator in Stanwell as part of Heathrow’s expansion plans were lambasted by over 60 residents at a public meeting on 15th September. The meeting focused on issues surrounding a car park dominating the biodiversity area north of the village hall and west of Oaks Road, an incinerator in the Bedfont Road area and a flood pit in Stanwell Moor. The feeling was that residents are not against progress, not against air travel, but they do not want unsuitable developments in the borough. Spelthorne already has one of the highest rates of deaths attributable to air pollution in the South East. Residents fear the effects of the polluted water from Heathrow being stored in the flood pit, especially after the problems with flooding this spring. Jonathan Deegan, chief planner at Heathrow, said: “All this has to go somewhere.” A resident asked why past promises were allowed to be broken, including an inspector who had said in a consultation meeting that Terminal 4 would be the last terminal. Nigel Milton, director of policy and political relations for Heathrow, said: “The people who made those promises weren’t in a position to make these promises.” So any promises could be broken again then?
Pollution concerns raised at Heathrow expansion plans meeting
- More than 60 Stanwell residents attended a meeting on Monday to hear what representatives from Heathrow had to say about their expansion plans
More than 60 Stanwell and Stanwell Moor residents gathered in St David’s Church Hall, in Everest Road, to hear from two Heathrow representatives and to have their say on plans relating to the proposed expansion of the airport.
Surrey county councillor Robert Evans said: “I think Heathrow’s got to be better, not bigger.”
The meeting focused on issues surrounding a car park dominating the biodiversity area north of the village hall and west of Oaks Road, an incinerator in the Bedfont Road area and a flood pit in Stanwell Moor.
Andrew McLuskey, a Stanwell resident of Diamedes Avenue, spoke to open the meeting, outlining concerns shared by him and other residents.
He said: “It won’t be conducive to a better life here. We are not against progress, we are not against air travel and we don’t simply want a flood pit shafted to someone else because we are putting up so much trouble.
“We do want these plans to be looked at carefully and the objectionable ones removed.”
Jonathan Deegan, planning chief at Heathrow, said: “These are people’s lives we are dealing with and we have to understand the nitty gritty.”
‘It has to go somewhere’
Citing a Public Health England report, Mr McLuskey said Spelthorne had the third highest rate of deaths attributable to air pollution in the South East already.
Addressing concerns particularly related to the potential incinerator at the old gravel extraction site, Mr McLuskey added: “We can’t have our people and our children polluted anymore.”
However, Mr Deegan said that there may not need to be an incinerator there at all as the plans continue to evolve.
Regarding the flood pit, Mr McLuskey said Stanwell Moor was “plagued” with water and flooding already and that it would be even worse if the water was toxic from the plane fuel.
Mr Deegan said any compensation scheme for the proposals would be announced as soon as possible so that people can “plan their lives and their futures”.
Residents were concerned that the car park would be built on greenbelt land but Mr Deegan said: “All this has to go somewhere.”
Locals also posed questions over access to the new car park, to which Mr Deegan said there would be an upgrading of the local roads.
Beryl Wilkins, a retired teacher, questioned why past promises were allowed to be broken, including an inspector who had said in a consultation meeting that Terminal 4 would be the last.
Nigel Milton, director of policy and political relations for Heathrow, said: “The people who made those promises weren’t in a position to make these promises.”
He also argued that the proposals had already been altered in consultation withSpelthorne Borough Council over the summer.
He said: “The timeline for this is a long one. Construction won’t start until 2020.
“We know that our changes aren’t going to be to everyone’s taste. We have been consulting over the last few years and we will continue that process.”