Advice on how to respond to Heathrow consultation – be absolutely sure to state you oppose any 3rd runway plan
Heathrow has a consultation out at present, which closes on 29th March. It is not a proper consultation about the runway, as the government has not yet even given the airport permission to build a 3rd runway. The consultation is intended to give the impression that the runway is definitely happening, and that people can have a bit of a say in how the development is done. Writing in the local paper, the Slough & South Bucks Express, long standing councillor Malcolm Beer gives advice on how to deal with the consultation. He says, it is absolutely essential that respondents state in the first box of the Consultation Response Form whether they support or oppose the expansion with their main reasons. The preferences which you might give should be expressly stated as being relevant only in the unfortunate event of the 3rd runway proposal being approved, to avoid being added to the number of supporters. This is very important as some believe they were included in the number of supporters, with the very biased, airport-funded “Back Heathrow” Campaign which completely wrongly and misleadingly stated that the airport would have to close if it could not expand.
Vital you have your say on airport plans (title of the letter in the Slough paper)
Letter by Cllr Malcolm Beer
in the Slough and South Bucks Express
30th January 2018
Emphasise NO Third Runway in Heathrow Consultations (title of the letter sent in by Malcolm Beer)
Many residents will know of the never ending actions of Heathrow, the aviation industry and central government to win support for further Heathrow expansion with a third runway. The airport’s latest non statutory consultations started last week and ask for your preferences on important wide ranging alternative actions relating to their new North West Runway proposals and related flight operations.
The nearest of 40 display and information drop in sessions will start next Wednesday 31st at Ascot Racecourse, followed by Windsor Youth Centre (off Alma Road) Friday 2nd, Maidenhead Sportsable (Braywick) Thursday 8th (all midday to 8 pm) plus Wraysbury Village Hall Saturday 3rd March (10 am to 4 pm).
Responses close 23.55 pm on 29th March and will be used to support their Development Consent Order (DCO) submission for final approval if the principle of another runway is agreed by MPs in Parliament sometime in the coming months. These dates make it very important to state your views and concerns to Heathrow, a wide range of MPs and local Councils very soon. It is hoped the latter will advise residents on local concerns and the huge pile of problems which Heathrow fails to mention.
The overstated world class mitigations will only give noise insulation assistance in the very noisiest places and noise free periods (“respite”) will be halved to only 4 hours per day.
Glaring omissions include:
How will 180,000 additional airport and related business employees and their families be housed – plus the residents of the 3,500 houses in the communities which will be erased for the runway? An Airports Commission report stated that 70,400 more houses, 5,000 in every Borough across the area, would be needed for the new employees, when there is already an area wide housing crisis and lack of space to build over 14,000 homes already needed in Windsor and Maidenhead.
The additional employees and their families will add to school and health facility stresses, road and rail congestion.
The hollow promise of 50 to 60% of many more passengers and employees travelling by bus or train is unrealistic as despite current efforts with fewer people seldom more than 30% have used public transport. The proposed link to and increased services on SW Rail are impracticable as increased closed time of level crossings and more trains too long for station platforms would increase road chaos. Doubling airport freight traffic will do the same.
Will there really be only 10,000 apprenticeships, or the 4,000 recently stated, to run this complex safety focussed industry – where the need to operate at least one runway in “Mixed Mode” (with high frequency simultaneous landings and take offs to equalise the number of movements) the current numbers of aborted landings and risks will be increased.
How on earth could the depleted construction industry build facilities for 54% more flights and their passengers, replace hotels, refugee resettlement centres and buried services along the demolished Bath Road plus the high tech Grundon Energy from Waste facility at the same time as the millions of new dwellings promised by the Government?
Will Heathrow pay for all of its part of the above, off airport road and rail alterations and upgrades including safely widening the M25 and the M4 Chiswick flyover which are already gridlocked hours every day, plus the six lane road tunnel beyond the M4 near the Hammersmith flyover which Highways England say will be necessary?
At present Heathrow says we will have to pay (up to £20billion) out of our taxes!
The ridiculous website proposal that a borrow pit to take gravel from Old Windsor’s Ham Island over its narrow bridge and village roads to raise the runway over the M25 and afterwards fill with waste material suggests that the relocating or compensating nearly 50 riverside households and the large sewage works which serves the whole Windsor area has not been considered – and casts serious doubts on the whole consultation.
Have Heathrow and the Government taken into account that a three runway Heathrow while others have only one runway would recreate the monopoly which existed before BAA (the British Airports Authority, former owner of Heathrow) was ordered to sell Gatwick, Stansted and other airports by a previous government Monopolies Commission to ensure much needed competition for the airlines and travelling public?
It should be noted that the disputed claim of a circa £60billion financial benefit to the nation is spread over 60 years and does not account for the enormous counter costs above and disruption to many businesses and millions of people.
What faith can be put into any promise that a fourth runway would never be sought after previous ones that T4 would be the last and another runway would never be needed when T5 was allowed? The “unexpected increased demands” excuse for even more extensions will inevitably arise again if R3 is allowed and the forecast capacity is reached by 2040
Heathrow’s promise of huge benefits to businesses and residents with more flights to regional airports is not realistic as the airlines determine where they fly to, not the airport. In fact the number of such connections has reduced in recent years, probably due to the growing logical preference for direct flights as their numbers grow and avoid the hassle of time consuming hub interchange flights.
All of this emphasises that Heathrow is not the right place for increased airport facilities and a North Midlands location would be a far better location to promote GB plc instead of shortsightedly exacerbating the universally harmful North / South Economic and Social Divide.
In conclusion, it is absolutely essential that respondents state in the first box of the Consultation Response Form whether they support or oppose the expansion with their main reasons. The preferences which you might give should be expressly stated as being relevant only in the unfortunate event of the proposal being approved, to avoid being added to the number of supporters. This is very important as some believe that to have happened with the biased airport funded Back Heathrow Campaign which misguidedly stated that the airport would have to close if it could not expand.
Old Windsor Residents Association Cllr.,
OWRA (Old Windsor Residents Assn) Newsletter Jan 2018
Please read this and Emphasise NO Third Runway in Heathrow Consultations
Old Windsor Residents Association is not opposed to Heathrow as it is the catalyst in the prosperity of the whole area, BUT it strongly opposes the third runway plans with 260,000 (54%) more flights and 40,000 more local employees and their families. This will escalate business, housing, school and health service demands and costs, increase road traffic, pollution and overhead noise.
# Heathrow’s publicity campaign is now intense as the Government’s decision date in the coming months draws close to confirm or cease its qualified support to permit Runway 3.
# Please visit one of Heathrow’s informal non statutory display and information drop-in consultations. The next is at Windsor Youth Centre Friday 2nd February (off top of Alma Road, a short walk from the Hospital bus stop), followed by Maidenhead Sportsable Thursday 8th (Braywick), Englefield Green Village Centre Wednesday 14th February (Victoria Street) (all from midday to 8 pm), and Wraysbury Village Hall Saturday 3rd March (10 am to 4 pm).
# The “What do you think” forms or other responses about preferred alternative runway, road and flight path options will probably be used to try to convince Parliament to allow another runway as well the final Development Consent Order (DCO) if a planning submission is allowed. You are urged to start and finish by writing that you oppose it and the preferences only apply if expansion is allowed. This is important as other consultations may have counted all replies as supportive.
# Responses close 23.55 pm 29th March and although it is OK to give Heathrow your views and concerns, it is far more important to inform our MP, Ministers and local Councils very soon.
# The claimed world class mitigations are very unlikely to give any noise insulation or part funding to Old Windsor residents, and noise free periods (“respite”) will be halved to only 4 hours per day.
# Nobody knows where a total of 180,000 more employees families and 3,500 residents of the communities wiped out for the runway will be housed. An Airports Commission report said 70,400 more houses would be needed, 5,000 in each Borough around Heathow, but there is already a crisis need for over 14,000 (21%) more homes in our Borough. Far more logical to build in the North.
# The promise of 50 to 60% of many more passengers and employees travelling by bus or train to cut pollution is unrealistic as current efforts with fewer people have never reached more than 40%. The proposed SW Rail link would cause traffic chaos as more trains too long for station platforms would increase level crossing closed times. Doubling airport freight will add road traffic problems.
Restriction of traffic by charging for use of public roads all around Heathrow is an outrage.
# Only 10,000 apprenticeships, or 4,000 as recently stated, seems far too few to run this complex safety, security and service focussed industry. The introduction of at least one runway in high frequency “Mixed Mode” operation (with simultaneous landings and take offs to equalise the movements on 3 runways) will increase the current average risk of 40 aborted landings a month.
# It is unlikely the troubled construction industry could quickly do the huge work on the M25, A4 and London end of the M4, building so many new buildings before demolishing original ones, the runways and terminals as well as the millions of new dwellings promised by the Government.
# The claim of around £60billion financial benefit to the nation is peanuts as it is spread over 60 years and does not account for the enormous counter costs and disruptions. Will Heathrow pay for all of the above or continue to demand that up to £20billion of our taxes pays for the off airport road and rail alterations and upgrades? It cannot promise more flights to the regions as the airlines choose their destinations. Expansion would not be necessary if more than 76% of seats were used.
# Has the Government ignored that a three runway Heathrow while others have only one runway would threaten their viability and renew the monopoly which a previous Government Monopolies Commission dismantled to ensure much needed competition?
# Some of us have already objected to a Ham Island “borrow pit” to get gravel to raise the runway over the M25 and then fill with waste. We will work with residents to protect its special facilities.
# Can promises that a fourth runway would never be sought be trusted after previous ones that T4 would be the last and another runway would never be needed after T5? If is almost certain a call for another runway will arise if R3 is allowed as Heathrow now say capacity will be reached by 2028, not 2040. Don’t forget it put Southern R4 plans to the Commission which would be south of Wraysbury and end so close to Old Windsor that some houses would be inhabitable.
Thee was no space for ………………..
# Heathrow’s promise of huge benefits to businesses and residents with more flights to regional airports is not realistic as the airlines determine where they fly to, not the airport. The number of such connections has reduced in recent years, probably due to the growing logical preference for direct flights as their numbers grow and avoid the hassle of time consuming hub interchange flights.
# All of this emphasises that Heathrow is not the right place for increased airport facilities and a North Midlands location would be a far better location to promote GB plc instead of shortsightedly exacerbating the universally harmful North / South Economic and Social Divide.
# There is no doubt that Back Heathrow Campaign’s threat that the airport would have to close if it does not extend is untrue, but it may not make as much profit as it would like if it had a monopoly.
OWRA Newsletter Jan 2018 Heathrow