Heathrow faces “almighty battle” if expansion gets Government approval
Heathrow faces “almighty battle” if expansion gets Government approval
Angered: Lord True
Lord True, leader of Richmond Council, warned that if the Government grants permission to allow the west London airport to expand, they would have “the most almighty battle on their hands” with thousands of people in the area.
He said: “Both Heathrow proposals are unacceptable. Further expansion cannot and must not go ahead. I urge the Government to put Londoners first and not the interests of the overseas investors behind big Heathrow.
“The misleading claims from the Back Heathrow campaign are nonsense – it is absurd to say that if the airport doesn’t expand it will decline.
“More than 100,000 west London residents have already said no to an expanded Heathrow – these are real residents, real people, all impacted by the proposals.”
Wandsworth Council leader Councillor Ravi Govindia pressed the airport owners on whether their new noise respite proposal was actually deliverable, with the airport admitting it would be dependent on weather conditions and operational issues.
He said: “All of the Heathrow expansion plans include noise respite systems which are beyond the airport’s ability to control and deliver. That was absolutely clear from the hearing.
“We are deeply concerned that the commission continues to use computer modelling alone to assess noise impacts.
“All of the expansion proposals will make the noise impacts of Heathrow much worse and our residents hold these noise contours in utter distain. More planes means more noise. That is the simple truth the commission should accept.”
Last week, it was revealed the Back Heathrow campaign group, which supports expansion of the airport, had been part-funded by Heathrow itself and Lord True has called for more transparency from the airport and the campaign group.
He said: “I have asked Heathrow to start being honest with the information they are publishing.
“We need to see detailed flight path information to really understand who will be impacted. We need to see a safety risk assessment and we need them to be honest about what might happen if a plane comes down over the city. We also need to know how each promoter propose to end night flights.
“Woefully incomplete information from Heathrow just demonstrates their lack of honesty across the whole of this process.”
Runway plans would be stalled by “inevitable” judicial review – causing long delays
The Airports Commission is expected to publish, this week, its initial appraisal of Heathrow and Gatwick’s runway plans, and their consultation on the three options. The Express reports that: “a source close to the Commission …..expects Gatwick and other opponents of airport expansion in general to launch a judicial review, potentially delaying the project.” The source also said: “We spend a lot of money on lawyers but we are surprised that we have only had one judicial review so far.” Heathrow wants to build a 3rd runway at the cost of £17 billion. Gatwick wants a 2nd runways, costing £7.8 billion. Gatwick says that its project could be built by 2025, and Heathrow that theirs could be by 2030. However, whichever airport the Commission recommends in summer 2015 will face inevitable judicial review – from the rival airport, and many others. Both plans are facing widespread opposition from residents and local politicians. As the Commission has a limited brief, with vital issues such as carbon emissions, noise measurement, taxation of air travel etc decided by others, their recommendations cannot be comprehensive.
100,000 Heathrow neighbours say ‘no’ to third runway or increase in flights
Objections: more than 100,000 people said they opposed a third runway or an increase in flights in referendums run by Richmond and Hillingdon councils
MATTHEW BEARD AND PIPPA CRERAR (Evening Standard)
21 May 2013
Londoners living closest to Heathrow have voted overwhelmingly against expansion of the airport in the largest poll of its kind.
More than 100,000 people said they opposed a third runway or an increase in flights in referendums run by Richmond and Hillingdon councils. Seventy two per cent were opposed to a third runway and 73 per cent were against increasing the number of flights.
Some 140,000 people cast their vote in the four-week referendum with a turnout of 41 per cent. In Hounslow, 72 per cent opposed expansion although the majority expressed concerns about the impact on the local economy if a rival London hub emerged, according to the results of a separate consultation also published today.
Boris Johnson said the joint referendum result would “set Whitehall aquiver”. The Mayor said it strengthened his case for an Estuary airport, and called on the Government to signal to the Aviation Commission to rule out Heathrow expansion as a solution to the capacity crisis.
Speaking to the Standard, he said: “This is much more emphatic and conclusive than we had expected.
“This vote will set Whitehall aquiver and a lot of people will realise that the plans for a third runway at Heathrow are an intellectual cul-de-sac. It shows runway three is dead in the water and plans for Big Heathrow are not going to happen.”
Findings of the poll are bound to be exploited by councillors as they go to the voters in next spring’s local elections.
Presenting the results with the Mayor at City Hall, Lord True, leader of Richmond council, said: “We now know we have tens of thousands of people behind us in our fight to ensure there are no increases in the number of runways, flights, noise levels or pollution at Heathrow airport, all of which have a colossal impact on the quality of life of our residents.”
Leader of Hillingdon council Ray Puddifoot said: “At the last general election David Cameron said there would be no third runway at Heathrow.
“The strength of this vote is an indication that (residents) expect him to be as good as his word.”
A Heathrow spokesman said: “Hillingdon and Richmond have carried out a consultation on an outdated runway proposal which is not being promoted by Heathrow.
“Heathrow will submit outline proposals for additional capacity to the Airports Commission in July and we are committed to consulting the councils and residents and listening to their views as we develop our plans.”
The Richmond Council press release:
“Expand Heathrow – there will be a mighty battle”- warns Council Leader
Lord True slammed proposals to expand Heathrow on Wednesday at a public meeting at the Airport.
The meeting was chaired by Sir Howard Davies, as part of the Airport Commission’s current consultation on the proposals. Speakers included MPs, representatives from HACAN, Back Heathrow, Stop Heathrow Expansion, Council Leaders from seven local authorities, business representatives and members of the public.
Lord True warned that if any government goes ahead and Heathrow is expanded, they will have the most almighty battle on their hands, with hundreds of thousands of people in West London.
“Both Heathrow proposals are unacceptable. Further expansion cannot and must not go ahead. I urge the Government to put Londoners first and not the interests of the overseas investors behind big Heathrow.
“The misleading claims from Back Heathrow Campaign are nonsense. It is absurd to say that if the airport doesn’t expand it will decline.
“Over 100,000 West London residents have already said NO to an expanded Heathrow. These are real residents, real people, all impacted by the proposals. The Back Heathrow campaign need to come clean about who is financing their campaign.
“I have asked Heathrow to start being honest with the information they are publishing. We need to see detailed flight path information to really understand who will be impacted. We need to see a safety risk assessment and we need them to be honest about what might happen if a plane comes down over the city. We also need to know how each promoter propose to end night flights.
“Woefully incomplete information from Heathrow just demonstrates their lack of honesty across the whole of this process. If we have a new runway anywhere there should be competition. It is madness, having spilt up the BAA monopoly, to restore that monopoly with a costly third runway. It will not serve the public, passengers or the tax payer.
“If these proposals go ahead, there will be a big battle – which we will win.
“Politicians have to keep their promises regarding the future of Heathrow. In the words of David Cameron: “The third runway is not going ahead: no ifs, no buts.” West London will hold our political leaders to that.”