The comments – which were in line with party policy at the time – are likely to be replayed back to Mrs May by Heathrow critics if she backs expansions at the airport as expected.
They date to a time before the Tory leadership decided to reopen the door to Heathrow and announced an independent inquiry in 2012.
Years after the announcement Mrs May met Sir Howard Davies, chair of the Airports Commission, to discuss her views on expansion.
A message on her website in 2014 said Mrs May mentioned the concerns that many local residents have about aircraft noise, particularly at night time, and the need to consider the environmental impacts of any proposals”. It also said she raised the number of local jobs that “depended” on Heathrow.
Discussing her previous stances, allies of Mrs May have said she is determined to make an airports decision in the “national interest” since taking office.
Archive material reveals the extent of new Prime Minister’s opposition to a 3rd runway at Heathrow over many years
Campaign group HACAN has unearthed archive material, from Theresa May’s website, which reveals that the new Prime Minister has been a fierce opponent of a third runway at Heathrow, for many years. Her comments on Heathrow since 2008 are copied here. For example, in January 2009 in response to the decision by the Labour Government to give the go-ahead to a 3rd runway, she said: “I know from all the letters and emails I get that many local people will be devastated by the Government’s decision. A third runway will result in thousands of additional flights, increased noise and more pollution for thousands of people. The Government’s promises on the environmental impact of this are not worth the paper they are written on – there are no planes currently on the market that would allow them to meet their noise and carbon dioxide targets. …. We need a better Heathrow, not a bigger Heathrow.” And “my constituents face the prospect of a reduction in their quality of life with more planes flying overhead, restriction in driving their cars locally and a far worse train service in Crossrail. I hope that the Secretary of State recognises that as a result of today’s announcement, nobody will take this Government seriously on the environment again.” In March 2008 she said: “The Government needs to show that expansion is consistent with national targets for tackling climate change and cutting CO2 emissions,” She has also consistently expressed concern about night flights.
20 May 2010
Theresa May has welcomed the Government’s decision to cancel the third runway project at Heathrow Airport. The third runway, which was planned by the previous Government, would have resulted in additional flights and increased noise and pollution in the Maidenhead and Twyford areas, and was opposed by Theresa and many local residents.
The commitment to scrap the third runway project is contained in the coalition government’s ‘Programme for Government’, published today.
Theresa said, “Like many local residents, I strongly welcome to cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow. Expanding Heathrow in this way would have had a detrimental effect on the Maidenhead and Twyford areas by increasing levels of noise and pollution, and today’s announcement is a victory for all those who have campaigned against it.”