Local opposition growing to expansion plans by Southampton airport

A group within Southampton Friends of the Earth has set up a campaign to oppose Southampton Airport expansion. Despite the Government’s recent commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, there are many airport expansion applications across the UK. This expansion cannot enable the aviation sector to meet even its current, easy, carbon target – let alone the much more stringent one required for a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. The airport will probably submit its planning application to extend the runway by 170 metres to Eastleigh Borough Council in the next few weeks. The scoping report and Master Plan have received approval in principle from Southampton City Council. Twyford Parish Council has objected, due to a proposed increase of flights over the village. Eastleigh Greens are likely to be objecting as well.  Friends of the Earth Southampton are currently putting together a petition to Southampton City Council to ask them to re-think their support for airport expansion, given that the Government is asking for net zero carbon by 2050. Campaigners started a group here to oppose the proposed expansion but it has not got a name yet. People interested can get in touch via the local FoE group foesoton@gmail.com
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Southampton airport expansion plans

The airport’s Masterplan is at  https://www.southamptonairport.com/draft-masterplan-2018/

There was a consultation last year, which closed in October.

The airport wants to extend the runway and increase the number of flights, allowing it to more than double passenger numbers from two million to five million a year by 2037.  A final version of the plans was then drawn up with a planning application due to be submitted soon.

The group’s FoE pages as contact: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofEarthSouthampton/  and https://friendsoftheearth.uk/groups/southampton

People interested are invited to join the FoE mailing list. There will only be occasional emails about airport stuff – so best way to keep in touch –  email foesoton@gmail.com

Friends of the Earth Southampton are currently putting together a petition to Southampton City Council to ask them to re-think their support for airport expansion, given that the Government is asking for net zero carbon by 2050.

FoE is hoping for the November full Council meeting. However, they say if Eastleigh Borough Council puts the airport’s application for expansion into its September Planning Committee we will have to abandon the petition and go for an all out campaign asking people to contact their councillors to object, and putting in objections to the planning application.

We have heard that Hampshire Climate Action Network is putting together a Hampshire-wide group against airport expansion too.

There are issues about trees being felled. The airport are trying to argue that they can fell the trees in a copse under a “tree management” banner, rather than it being prior to and facilitating expansion. The trees are within the City Council boundary and are all protected. However, the City Council (although it objected to this work in 1983 and 2003) is giving the work the nod.

There is quite a bit of obfuscation going on about who is for approving the tree felling – whether it is the Forestry Commission for the large trees or Southampton City Council for the  Tree Protection Zone? The Forestry Commission has said “not us – its SCC” but it remains unclear.

The expansion issue compounded by the consultation and proposals for air space changes. Parts of Southampton could be badly affected by increased noise from more jets taking off daily.

Campaigners started a group here to oppose the proposed expansion of Southampton Airport. We haven’t got a name yet, but we can be contacted via the local FoE group.

It’s likely that the airport will submit it’s application to extend the runway by 170 metres to Eastleigh Borough Council in the next few weeks. The scoping report and Master Plan have received approval in principle from Southampton City Council. Twyford Parish Council has objected, due to a proposed increase of flights over the village. Eastleigh Greens are likely to be objecting as well.

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See earlier:

Southampton Airport expansion moving forward as bosses prepare to submit plans

7th May 2019

Southampton Airport is pushing ahead with major expansion plans which could double the number of passengers travelling through the airport.

Bosses will submit a formal planning application to the local authority, following a public consultation.

But campaigners say it would increase noise pollution and damage the environment.

The airport has released impressions of how the expanded airport could look
Under the plans announced last year, the runway would be made longer, allowing more flights to travel to more destinations.

The terminal would also be expanded, with 4,000 extra parking spaces being built.

Airport executives predict that flight numbers would increase from just over 39,000 a year now, to more than 50,000 in ten years – reaching 58,000 by 2037.

The airport says:  “Our ambitions to grow the airport to provide more choice, more connectivity for passengers, are really taking shape now.”

Hundreds of people took part in a major consultation on the plans and the airport say it has taken into account concerns raised.

But not everyone agrees with the plans, with some worried about the affect it could have on their neighbourhood and the environment.

GARETH NARBED, CAMPAIGNER said:  “I’m appalled actually by the potential effects on the whole of Southampton…the expansion plan is really going to have a major effect on a lot of people.”

The airport says it’s due to submit plans to the council later in the summer.

Last updated Tue 7 May 2019

https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2019-05-07/southampton-airport-expansion-moving-forward-as-bosses-prepare-to-submit-plans/

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Mayor of Newham’s challenge to London City Airport’s expansion as “fundamentally flawed, due to lack of clarity & information”

Campaigners have welcomed a demand by the mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, to halt London City Airport’s consultation on expansion with more daily flights – until it shows how it will tackling noise and CO2 emissions. City Airport’s Consultation Master Plan suggests almost doubling the number of daily flights, with more early morning and late evening. The airport insists its consultation will continue till 20th September. The mayor called the consultation “fundamentally flawed because of lack of clarity and information” in a letter to the airport’s chief executive. She calls on the airport to halt the public consultation immediately until it publishes the “omitted technical details”. “The significance of the mayor’s move cannot be overstated. Newham is the planning authority for the airport,” said Hacan East chairman John Stewart.  Newham Council which declared a “climate emergency” earlier this year, and is seeking more evidence about the airport’s plans to tackle CO2 emissions and air pollution. A huge number of people are already badly affected by aircraft noise. Newham already has a large number of deaths, occurring prematurely, due to air pollution. London City airport growth – pollution from aircraft – would only add to that, as well as the noise assault.
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Mayor of Newham’s challenge to London City Airport’s expansion is greeted by campaigners

16 August 2019

By Mike Brooke (Newham Recorder)

Image result for rokhsana fiaz

Campaigners have welcomed a demand by the mayor of Newham to halt London City Airport’s consultation on expansion with more daily flights until it shows how it will tackling noise and climate emissions.

City AirportConsultation Master Plan suggests more daily flights, early morning and late evening.

But the airport remains firm and insists that the consultation – on plans to almost double the number of landings and take-offs – continues until September 20.

The mayor called the consultation “fundamentally flawed” in a letter to the airport’s chief executive.

The letter “throws down the gauntlet to the airport”, say campaigners from Hacan East which represents households in the flight paths across east London.

“The significance of the mayor’s move cannot be overstated,” its chairman John Stewart said. “Newham is the planning authority for the airport.”

Newham Council which declared a “climate emergency” earlier this year is seeking more evidence about the airport’s plans to tackle pollution.

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz says in her letter to airport chief executive Robert Sinclair: “The council would struggle to support London City Airport’s justification to increase the number of flights. Residents are gravely concerned about the high level forecasts.”

Newham has the most deaths in London attributed to pollution with 96 people a year dying prematurely from respiratory diseases, the mayor points out.

The local authority has set up an air quality and climate emergency task force to achieve “carbon neutral” by 2030 and “carbon zero” by 2050.

“The consultation is fundamentally flawed because of lack of clarity and information,” the mayor’s letter to the airport boss states.

“We expected to see ’emissions from airborne aircraft’ detailed in your aims to achieve the level 3-plus neutrality that you claim to seek by 2020.”

She calls on the airport to halt the public consultation immediately until it publishes the “omitted technical details”.

The airport says it is giving proper consideration to the mayor’s views, but the consultation remains open for people who want to have their say.

A spokesman said: “The draft master plan is an opportunity to share views on how the airport can respond to the significant demand for air travel in London and in particular east London.

“We recognise the challenge of climate change in our draft master plan. Our record to date on air quality, noise and carbon reduction demonstrates our commitment to a change in sustainable aviation.”

The 12-week consultation proposes to scrap the 24-weekend break, which would add more early morning and late evening flights.

https://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/politics/challenge-to-airport-expansion-1-6220270?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social_Icon&utm_campaign=in_article_social_icons

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Assembly calls for changes to City Airport airspace to prioritise Londoners over profit

14 August 2019

By Luke Acton (Newham Recorder)

City Hall’s environment committee has called on airspace decision-makers to prioritise the health and wellbeing of Londoners over the commercial interests of City Airport.

The call comes as a national effort gets under way to modernise the UK’s airspace to improve things like efficiency. The Civil Aviation Authority is the body in charge of that process.

With airports responsible for designing airspace routes under 7,000 feet, City has released a draft document outlining what it wants the new design to do.

Among the “musts” is the maintenance or enhancement of safety and airspace that provides “sufficient capacity to support future demand”.

Among lower priorities, things the new design “should” achieve, is minimisation of CO2 and noise, as well as lower air pollution.

Different groups and organisations are now responding to the plan. Assembly Member Caroline Russell is a Green Party politician and chairwoman of the environment committee.

She said: “According to the Civil Aviation Authority, there are already 331,000 people overflown by flights arriving at City Airport, and 416,300 overflown by departures, all under the altitude of 4,000 feet.

“The damaging effect of aircraft noise on Londoners’ lives can no longer be ignored.

“The London Assembly is recommending that any changes to airspace and flight paths at London City Airport prioritise the health and wellbeing of overflown Londoners, over and above the commercial interests of the airport.”

A spokesman for London City thanked the committee for its response, adding that air capacity is vital for jobs, to support business and to encourage trade and tourism.

“As London’s most central airport, we know we have a responsibility to be a good neighbour, which is exactly why we are participating in this airspace modernisation programme, which is anticipated to result in quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys.

“We have also previously highlighted evidence to the environment committee of the extensive work we are doing with airlines, manufacturers, air traffic control services, and other stakeholders, to actively limit noise and mitigate its effects.”

The airspace document comes as City is also consulting on its draft master plan, which calls for more flexibility for early and late flights, and during the 24-hour weekend break.

https://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/new-airspace-plan-priorities-1-6216031?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social_Icon&utm_campaign=in_article_social_icons

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See earlier:

 

HACAN East new major campaign against London City’s expansion plans, asking people to fill in postcard responses to the consultation.

HACAN East has launched a major campaign against London City’s expansion plans. It is encouraging people to fill in postcards opposing the expansion plans, and send them in to Freepost LCY MASTER PLAN CONSULTATION. People can also download and display posters. The postcards call on residents to back the existing 24 hour weekend ban on aircraft using London City.  HACAN East wants the airport drop its proposals to end the 24 hour break as well as its plans to almost double flight numbers from today’s levels and to increase flights in the early morning and late evening. The postcards say: I SUPPORT the 24 hour London City Airport weekend flight ban. I DO NOT want up to 40,00 more flights. I DO NOT want more early morning or late evening flights. I DO NOT want more climate damaging airport expansion. Overall, I DO NOT support the plans in the draft master plan.

Click here to view full story…

Caroline Russell: Action is needed on aircraft noise

Caroline writes in a blog that in parts of London, people are now living with severe levels of noise disruption. This is not acceptable, and urgent, decisive action is needed across the board to alleviate it. For some, the onslaught from Heathrow planes is made worse by the addition of London City planes using narrow, concentrated routes. The noise has significant health impacts for many. A report by the London Assembly’s Environment Committee, which Caroline chairs, concluded that the Government and CAA should regulate noise disturbance more stringently. They should use lower thresholds for noise disturbance (taking into account WHO guidelines and the need for residents to keep windows open) and mapping the combined effect of all London’s airports, especially Heathrow and City.  The WHO guidance is that 45dB is the threshold for health impacts, but the UK government persists with 54dB as the ‘disturbance’ threshold. Also that flight paths should be rotated, to give relief to those under concentrated flight paths – and flight paths should be designed to minimise noise impacts, including avoiding overlapping flight paths. Increasing exposure to aircraft noise is unacceptable, and must be challenged

Click here to view full story…

What is driving London City Airport’s expansion plans? John Stewart comment

John Stewart, from Hacan East, has looked at why London City Airport is planning huge expansion. The airport Master Plan wants to lift the current cap of 111,000 flights allowed each year to 137,000 by 2030 and to 151,000 by 2035. He says the airport is aiming to promote itself as a major player on the aviation scene, and a key driver of the regional economy, not just a niche business airport. It now often holds receptions at the party conferences, and is raising its profile to get backing for its growth plans. The current owners bought the airport for £2 billion in 2016, and want to make a good return. Business passengers used to be about 60% of the total, but now 50% – with the plans suggesting 36% by 2035. Most business passengers fly in the morning and evening, so leisure flights use the hours in the middle of the day. It can’t offer budget flights because Ryanair and EasyJet planes are too big to use the airport. London City has set out to change to portray itself as a key driver, maybe even the key driver, of the economic development of East, NE and SE London.  It is pushing this to MPs and also local authorities in its regions in order to convince them it is in their interest to back expansion.

Click here to view full story…

RESIDENTS DISMAYED BY LONDON CITY AIRPORT EXPANSION PLANS TO DOUBLE FLIGHT NUMBERS

London City’s Master Plan has been released, for consultation, and it is very bad news for local residents who suffer from the noise of its planes.  It is proposing to double the number of flights by 2035; to end the break when currently there are no flights between 12:30pm on Saturday and 12.30pm on Sunday; and to bring in more planes in the early morning and late evening. Residents are dismayed by the London City expansion revealed in its Master Plan published today.  The airport wants to lift the current cap of 111,000 flights allowed each year to 137,000 by 2030 and to 151,000 by 2035. Last year there were just over 75,000 flights. John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, which gives a voice to residents under the airport’s flight paths, said, “For all its green talk, this plan would be disastrous for residents.  Flight numbers could double from today’s levels.” Increasingly the airport caters for leisure passengers, not business. The consultation ends on 20th September.  The airport would need to go to a Planning Inquiry to get permission for any proposals it intends to take forward, after applying to Newham Council for its plans. Newham borough has pledged to make the borough “carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050”.  The airport will not be helping with that.

Click here to view full story…

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London Assembly – wholly opposed to Heathrow expansion – urges people to respond, rejecting 3rd runway plans

The London Assembly is totally opposed to a 3rd Heathrow runway. They have set out clearly 5 key reasons why it should be opposed, and are asking Londoners to reject the plans. They point out that the Heathrow consultation is confusing, and very difficult indeed for anyone who is not an expert to fill in. The Assembly says: “We are gravely concerned that Heathrow is prioritising the interests of the airline industry and passengers over and above the wellbeing of Londoners, who are going to be the most affected by the expansion.”   The plans would mean unacceptable levels of noise, air pollution, carbon emissions and amounts of road traffic. The extra noise is likely to harm health and well-being of thousands of people. As the consultation is too hard to respond to, using the online or paper forms, the Assembly suggests that people send a short message to the Heathrow email address feedback@heathrowconsultation.com  The text they suggest – vary it however you wish – is “Heathrow expansion fundamentally goes against the UK’s commitment to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality in the capital.  It’s going to make air pollution worse, increase carbon emissions and increase noise, and we don’t support it. I stand with hundreds of others calling for it to be CANCELLED.”
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Five reasons why the expansion of Heathrow is the wrong move for London

by the London Assembly

London Assembly
Aug 15th 2019
Heathrow Airport’s new runway proposal would enable it to grow from around 475,000 to around 740,000 flights a year.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: it’s bad for the environment, and it’s bad for Londoners.

Here’s why:

5️⃣ The consultation process has been confusing for Londoners

We are gravely concerned that Heathrow is prioritising the interests of the airline industry and passengers over and above the wellbeing of Londoners, who are going to be the most affected by the expansion. Thus far, the consultation process has been highly inaccessible to those without the time or inclination to work through several hundred-page documents, and numerous webpages to find information on areas that may impact them.

Many Londoners are cynical about the consultation process; here’s what people have been saying in response to the consultation on Facebook:

Future consultation processes must be accessible to local people and communities, in all areas but especially those overflown. Further, future consultations should facilitate engagement between communities, so that advocacy efforts do not leave any one community behind.

4️⃣ Noise pollution will drastically increase

The World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that average noise levels above 45dB are associated with adverse health effects. We asked Heathrow representatives to indicate the number of people newly affected by noise as a result of the expansion. None of the representatives could provide this figure, despite its relevance to the discussion on noise impacts.

The UK Government found that, with the expansion, an extra 539,327 people would be affected should the threshold of annoyance be extended down to their limit of 51dB, taking the total number of people in the noise annoyance footprint to over 1.15 million.

Further, NHS guidelines say that getting less than seven hours of sleep can damage mental and physical health. The proposed expansion plans suggest the ban on night flights would be between 23:00p.m. and 5:30a.m — just 6 and a half hours.

We’re recommending that Heathrow commissions an independent noise impact assessment to better understand the harms of aviation noise and determine an appropriate, evidence-based noise threshold. In addition to that research, we’re calling for specific, stringent and binding targets for noise reduction, based on lower thresholds of disturbance, as specified by the WHO.

3️⃣ There will be more air pollution

The Government has said that any increase in pollution from an expanded Heathrow would be acceptable as long as emissions remain within legal limits — i.e. do not exceed the worst pollution levels in the whole Greater London area. But if air quality is improved in one area of London, that shouldn’t mean it is acceptable for Heathrow to increase its contributions to air pollution.

It would be illegal to worsen and prolong local breaches in health-based air pollutant concentration limits.

2️⃣ There will be more pollution from cars

The proposed expansion of Heathrow will significantly increase traffic, and there’s been a real lack of planning for improving surface access (the way cars, buses and lorries will be managed going to and from Heathrow). This increase will have a serious impact on air quality in an area already experiencing high — and potentially illegal — levels of pollution.

Currently, 40% of Heathrow’s passengers are using public transportation, up only 1% in the last 10 years. The Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) required Heathrow to drive up the number of passengers using public transport to 50% by 2030 and 55% by 2040. With another 10 to 12 million passengers travelling to and from the airport with the expansion, how is it possible Heathrow will deliver on its goals?

Heathrow has said it relies on public transportation improvements like Crossrail, High Speed 2, Western and Southern Rail, and buses and coaches. But most of these plans fall outside the governance and financial jurisdiction of Heathrow — meaning taxpayers will ultimately bear the burden. We need to know what surface access is required, how much it would cost and who would be expected to pay for it.

And further, these objectives are significantly lower than the Mayor’s city-wide target of 80% of journeys being taken by walking, cycling and public transport by 2041. Heathrow’s targets should be consistent with the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and the draft London Plan, so as to not undermine city-wide efforts.

1️⃣ There will be increased carbon emissions

Heathrow is the biggest single source of carbon emissions in the UK, and though the Government just announced plans to meet new, much tougher “net zero” greenhouse gas target by 2050 — aviation is not currently included in these carbon budgets.

CO2 emissions after expansion will be eight to nine million tonnes higher per year. This is equivalent to over seven million passenger vehicles driven for one year.

Proposed plans to reduce emissions rely primarily on technological improvements — but there is no credible evidence that technology will be available fast enough to support and deliver on Heathrow’s net-zero carbon objectives. For instance, Heathrow indicated landing fees would be waived for electric planes. But Cait Hewitt of the Aviation Environment Federation said in our meeting that they “foresaw no [implementation of the use of] electric aircraft this side of 2050.” Therefore, waiving of landing fees is not a fitting incentive for the near future.

So how can Heathrow expand while ensuring the Government meets its carbon objectives? That’s what we need to know before we move ahead with expansion.

We sent this list to Heathrow Airport Consultation. Add your voice if you agree>>


If you would like to relay this information to the Heathrow Consultation process, copy and paste the below paragraph and send to: feedback@heathrowconsultation.com

Heathrow expansion fundamentally goes against the UK’s commitment to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality in the capital.

It’s going to make air pollution worse, increase carbon emissions and increase noise, and we don’t support it.

I stand with hundreds of others calling for it to be CANCELLED.  http://bit.ly/5ReasonsForNoHeathrow

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AEF produces extensive guide to understanding how the planning system can influence airport development

The AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) has published a guide explaining the role of the UK planning system in controlling development at airports and airfields, and how planning conditions have been used to limit the impact of operations. The guide, in plain English, outlines provisions and policies in the planning system that are relevant for airport development projects. The Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) applies to smaller scale developments, whilst the Planning Act (2008) has introduced a new process applicable to larger infrastructure projects, like extending or adding runways. AEF says national policy imposes very few meaningful environmental limits on airport operations or expansion, and successive governments have been reluctant to intervene. That means it is largely up to local councils to negotiate controls or limits. An exception is that Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick airports have been “designated” for noise regulation by the Government. Some of the issues covered are those relating to smaller airports; permitted development rights; “established use” rights; conditions and planning agreements; Section 106 Agreements; the stages of the planning application process; the Airports National Policy Statement; and the Development Consent Order process for the largest developments.
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AEF releases guidance on aviation planning

AEF has today published the next in a series of guides aimed at explaining how aviation’s environmental impacts are addressed and managed.

Understanding aviation-related planning explains the role of the UK planning system in controlling development at airports and airfields, and how planning conditions have been used to limit the impact of operations.

The guide goes on to outline the planning system, with a particular focus on aviation-specific provisions and policies. The Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) applies to smaller scale developments, whilst the Planning Act (2008) has introduced a new process applicable to larger infrastructure projects, it explains.

https://www.aef.org.uk/2019/08/14/aef-releases-planning-guidance-for-aviation


Understanding aviation-related planning

Why is the planning system important for aviation?

National policy imposes very few meaningful environmental limits on airport operations or expansion, and successive governments have been reluctant to intervene. Consequently, it’s almost always at the local level, within the planning system, where the impacts of airport operations are consulted on with stakeholders, and where any controls or limits are negotiated.

There are exceptions, however. Since the 1980s, Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick airports have been “designated” for noise regulation by the Government. This means that Government restrictions run alongside those laid down by local planning authorities through the planning process. The Department for Transport (DfT) periodically consults on its approach to noise controls at the designated airports, particularly in relation to night time aviation noise, which provides opportunities for members of the public to comment.

As the information and examples below will show, the planning system has always occupied an important place within the aviation industry. However, a 2018 statement made by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) during its Airspace Modernisation Strategy consultation reinforces the strategic importance of the planning system as the process for determining the appropriate scale of the industry’s impacts. Aviation growth, and its noise and other environmental impacts, the CAA said, should be managed not through the airspace change process, which it authorises, but through the planning system.

The CAA envisages, for example, that regional and local government policy and decision-makers can limit the number of new runways at an airport, or place restrictions on their use.
But, given the limited ability of the planning system to set appropriate controls in every situation, AEF argues that there is a case for the DfT and the CAA to retain the right to impose limits way of conditions on airspace use where this is the best or only means of providing environmental protection.

What is the planning system?

The planning system was put in place in the 1940s to facilitate a coordinated approach to land use in the UK. It introduced the requirement to obtain planning permissions from local authorities for building works, and for a change of land use.

With some exceptions (outlined below), the planning system controls what happens on the ground at airfields and airports. This includes, as examples, proposals to develop new hangars and terminals, extensions to existing runways, or the construction of new ones, such as the one currently planned for Heathrow Airport.

What is the relevant aviation-related planning legislation?

The planning system has evolved considerably since the first planning act in 1947, and is subject to several Acts of Parliament, and a very wide range of policies and guidance that are out of scope for this short guide. However, keep in mind that legislation, policy and guidance that applies to proposed developments will differ depending on the scale of the proposals put forward and their impacts.

In this way, the planning system falls into two main legislative strands: (1) The Town and Country Planning Act (1990), and (2) the Planning Act (2008). In the context of aviation, The Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) applies to smaller development consents, which are dealt with locally. The 2008 Planning Act (PA) applies development proposals that are considered to be of national significance, and it is discussed separately below.

Whether the TCPA or the PA applies, you are also likely to come across references to the Localism Act (2011), which amended both.

The Climate Change Act (2008) is also very relevant, as all planning policy and considerations must take into account the legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions laid out in Section 1 of the Act (recently amended to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050).

For a full list of planning-related legislation, click here.


The AEF document continues with a lot of excellent, important and useful detail on the planning process, and how it affects airport plans and developments.

Some of the issues covered are:

issues relating to smaller airports;

permitted development rights;

“established use” rights;

conditions and planning agreements;

Section 106 Agreements;

the stages of the planning application process;

the Airports National Policy Statement; and

the Development Consent Order process for the largest developments.

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For the full details, see https://www.aef.org.uk/a-short-guide-to-aviation-related-planning-2/

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ICCAN to consider if it needs [indispensable!] powers by Sept 2020, rather than April 2021 ….

ICCAN (the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise) consulted on its Corporate Strategy earlier in the year, and it has now published the final version. This sets out ICCAN’s  aims and objectives for 2019 – 2021. A key issue of great concern to anyone hoping the Commission might be able to make any real difference on aviation noise, is whether it will have any powers for regulation and enforcement. The consultation document said: “…as we near our two-year review we won’t hesitate to recommend to the Government that enforcement powers should be introduced, should we consider at that point that the industry and decision-makers are not acting in the best interests of their communities, or not taking their concerns seriously.” Now the final version says “… ICCAN will make independent, evidence-based recommendations which it will expect the government and others to take seriously and act on. …  we will bring forward our opinion on the future of regulation and enforcement of noise issues in the UK, to September 2020 (from our intended April 2021 two year review point). This is the earliest that we believe we can realistically and achievably take a view on the regulation.”
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The ICCAN documents can be seen (sort of….) at the webpage – ICCAN does not have a website …. see link

As they are so hard to download, the ICCAN page says:

“The best way to view the below documents is to use Google Chrome. If you do not have Google Chrome or are having issues opening and viewing the below documents, please email contacticcan@iccan.gov.uk and we will send you PDF versions of the documents.”

The ICCAN document

ICCAN Corporate Strategy – Summary of responses Overview

says, on the important issue of whether ICCAN will get the powers it needs to make any effective difference on aviation noise:   (quotes below)

Stronger powers

A number of responses highlighted the need for ICCAN to have stronger powers to enable enforcement or regulation if it is to deliver any successful outcomes. Many respondents felt that an independent body having regulatory powers around aviation noise would be beneficial to ensure compliance or be in a position to incentivise or penalise noisy airlines.

What was said:

“ICCAN should have stronger powers of enforcement in relation to noise measurement, mitigation and compensation measures.” (Local authority response)

“There should be a stronger remit with reviewing the regulatory framework around airspace changes in order to deliver noise improvements sooner.” (Airport response)

“We would like to see ICCAN as a statutory body.” (Community group response)

“The one objective that would make all the difference would be if you could attain a status that gives you the power to enforce.” (Individual response)

Feedback

ICCAN should have enforcement powers to ensure it can enable change

Response by ICCAN

While we note the concern regarding ICCAN’s position as an advisory body and the desire to see us develop stronger powers to help better regulate the impact of aviation noise, ICCAN will make independent, evidence-based recommendations which it will expect the government and others to take seriously and act on.

Given comments on timescales and ambition (see below), and in light of many other activities occurring in the aviation world (notably the Aviation Strategy, airspace modernisation, and general expansion and growth around the country), we will bring forward our opinion on the future of regulation and enforcement of noise issues in the UK, to September 2020 (from our intended April 2021 two year review point). This is the earliest that we believe we can realistically and achievably take a view on the regulation. This piece of work will also encompass the issue of planning and land use.

We recognise that a full review of regulation and enforcement will take time but will look to bring forward key aspects of our work, particularly around enforcement, within the first 12 months of our strategy going live.

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Earlier ICCAN consultation document

Their earlier consultation document (again, no documents have dates ….) from about late May 2019, said this on the issue of powers:

ICCAN will be reviewed in two years’ time and a decision will be made about its future direction as an organisation, including whether to give it increased powers. In the meantime, ICCAN’s role is threefold: to listen, to evaluate and to advise.

and

Our starting point is to do so by building consensus, and driving improvements in the way noise management is approached through behavioural change. But as we near our two-year review we won’t hesitate to recommend to the Government that enforcement powers should be introduced, should we consider at that point that the industry and decision-makers are not acting in the best interests of their communities, or not taking their concerns seriously.

What

Review existing enforcement mechanisms and consider whether further enforcement and regulatory powers are necessary and, if so, to which body they might be given

Milestone for success

Make recommendations to Government in time for the two-year review of ICCAN

What

Advise on best practice on information provision, and could provide advice on areas where it may be beneficial for the CAA to use its information powers to improve transparency and drive improvements

Milestone for success

Consider current CAA approach to information powers by April 2021

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See earlier:

ICCAN consultation on its Corporate Strategy – public welcome to respond – deadline 16th June

The Airports Commission suggested, back in 2015, that there should be an independent body looking into aircraft noise issues – largely to help reduce public opposition to the massive increase in noise that would be generated by a Heathrow 3rd runway. The ICCAN (Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise) was finally set up earlier this year, with a chairman (Rob Light) and three commissioners (Colin Noble, Howard Simmons and Simon Henley). It has been visiting a lot of airports, and also community groups. It plans to take two years to make its recommendations, and it will then decide if it needs to have some statutory powers – it currently has no powers to get the industry to do anything. ICCAN says: “Our two-year aim – To improve public confidence and trust in the management of aviation noise, by building our expertise, credibility and profile across the UK.”  There is currently a consultation on ICCAN’s corporate strategy, which the public are requested to fill in.  No technical expertise is needed – and the views of ordinary people, to whom plane noise is of interest or concern, are solicited.  Deadline 16th June.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2019/06/iccan-consultation-on-its-corporate-strategy-public-welcome-to-respond-dealine-16th-june/

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HACAN East new major campaign against London City’s expansion plans, asking people to fill in postcard responses to the consultation.

HACAN East has launched a major campaign against London City’s expansion plans. It is encouraging people to fill in postcards opposing the expansion plans, and send them in to Freepost LCY MASTER PLAN CONSULTATION. People can also download and display posters. The postcards call on residents to back the existing 24 hour weekend ban on aircraft using London City.  HACAN East wants the airport drop its proposals to end the 24 hour break as well as its plans to almost double flight numbers from today’s levels and to increase flights in the early morning and late evening. The postcards say:

I SUPPORT the 24 hour London City Airport weekend flight ban.
I DO NOT want up to 40,00 more flights.
I DO NOT want more early morning or late evening flights.
I DO NOT want more climate damaging airport expansion.
Overall, I DO NOT support the plans in the draft master plan.

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HACAN EAST LAUNCHES MAJOR CAMPAIGN AGAINST LONDON CITY AIRPORT EXPANSION

0th July 2019

Caroline Russell, GREEN CHAIR OF THE LONDON ASSEMBLY ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE, AND CAMPAIGNER ALAN HAUGHTON AT THE CAMPAIGN’S LAUNCH
CAROLINE RUSSELL, GREEN CHAIR OF THE LONDON ASSEMBLY ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE, AND CAMPAIGNER ALAN HAUGHTON AT THE CAMPAIGN’S LAUNCH

HACAN East today launched a major postcard and poster campaign against the expansion proposals contained in London City’s Master Plan currently out for consultation. Thousands of postcards will be distributed to household impacted by the airport over the next month.

People who object to the proposals are being asked to fill in a postcard and send it back to the airport via FREEPOST

You can find the postcards here: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/HACANeast-Cut-n-Post-BTB-A4-Print-Colour-2-3.pdf and here https://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/HACANeast-BTB-Postcard-Final-4.pdf

And black and white versions: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/HACANeast-Cut-n-Post-BTB-A4-Print-B_W-2.pdf

http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/HACANeast-Postcard-BTB-A4-Print-B_W-1-3.pdf

And you can download and display posters: https://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Poster-Draft-2-1-Colour-3.pdf

Black and white posters: https://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Poster-Draft-2-1-B_W-2.pdf

We will be looking for help from people to deliver the postcards. If you can help email johnstewart2@btconnect.com

You can pick up postcards and posters from us in the Function Room of The Leyton Star on Monday 5th August from 4pm – 8pm. The address is 116 High St, London E15 2BX.

But, if you are unable to pick them up, we can post some to you. Email us: johnstewart2@btconnect.com

The postcards call on residents to back the existing 24 hour weekend ban on aircraft using London City.  It wants the airport drop its proposals to end the 24 hour break as well as its plans to almost double flight numbers from today’s levels and to increase flights in the early morning and late evening.

 The postcard campaign will be backed up by posters, public meetings, adverts and eye-catching events to get across to people the scale of the airport’s plans.

The Postcard is to be sent to

Freepost LCY MASTER PLAN CONSULTATION

Image may contain: text

London City Airport want to end the ban that stops them from flying aircraft on Saturday afternoons, Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings. 24 hours of plane free, quiet time.

Your quiet time. Your family time, your playtime, your pray time, your sports time, your TV time, your duvet time, your garden time, your open the windows and let in some fresh air time.

Whatever time, it’s YOUR time.

They also want 40,000 more flights, more flights early morning and late at night, that’s more noise, more pollution and more climate destruction.

Tell your MP and Councillors to #backtheban and keep the London City Airport 24hr weekend flight ban!

Respond to the full consultation and #defendyourweekend at

hacaneast.org.uk

DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES

Public Meeting, 30th July, 7.30pm – 9pm, Buxton School, Cann Hall Rd, E11 3NN, organised by Cann Hall Area Residents Association, with several other residents associations on City’s expansion proposals. Speakers: London City Airport, John Cryer MP, John Stewart (Chair HACAN East)

 Waltham Forest Council will be holding a public meeting in Leytonstone Library on Tues 10th September 7.30- 9.30pm to discuss the London City proposals.

And London City will be holding further consultation exhibitions at:

The City Centre, 80 Basinghall St, London EC2V 5AR, 11th September, from 12 noon – 7pm

Southern Grove Community Centre, Southern Grove, Mile End, London, E3 4FX, 12th September, from 3.30pm – 7.30pm

Royal Docks Learning and Activity Centre, Albert Rd, Royal Docks, London E16 2JB, 14th September,10am – 4pm.

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See earlier:

What is driving London City Airport’s expansion plans? John Stewart comment

John Stewart, from Hacan East, has looked at why London City Airport is planning huge expansion. The airport Master Plan wants to lift the current cap of 111,000 flights allowed each year to 137,000 by 2030 and to 151,000 by 2035. He says the airport is aiming to promote itself as a major player on the aviation scene, and a key driver of the regional economy, not just a niche business airport. It now often holds receptions at the party conferences, and is raising its profile to get backing for its growth plans. The current owners bought the airport for £2 billion in 2016, and want to make a good return. Business passengers used to be about 60% of the total, but now 50% – with the plans suggesting 36% by 2035. Most business passengers fly in the morning and evening, so leisure flights use the hours in the middle of the day. It can’t offer budget flights because Ryanair and EasyJet planes are too big to use the airport. London City has set out to change to portray itself as a key driver, maybe even the key driver, of the economic development of East, NE and SE London.  It is pushing this to MPs and also local authorities in its regions in order to convince them it is in their interest to back expansion.

Click here to view full story…

RESIDENTS DISMAYED BY LONDON CITY AIRPORT EXPANSION PLANS TO DOUBLE FLIGHT NUMBERS

London City’s Master Plan has been released, for consultation, and it is very bad news for local residents who suffer from the noise of its planes.  It is proposing to double the number of flights by 2035; to end the break when currently there are no flights between 12:30pm on Saturday and 12.30pm on Sunday; and to bring in more planes in the early morning and late evening. Residents are dismayed by the London City expansion revealed in its Master Plan published today.  The airport wants to lift the current cap of 111,000 flights allowed each year to 137,000 by 2030 and to 151,000 by 2035. Last year there were just over 75,000 flights. John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, which gives a voice to residents under the airport’s flight paths, said, “For all its green talk, this plan would be disastrous for residents.  Flight numbers could double from today’s levels.” Increasingly the airport caters for leisure passengers, not business. The consultation ends on 20th September.  The airport would need to go to a Planning Inquiry to get permission for any proposals it intends to take forward, after applying to Newham Council for its plans. Newham borough has pledged to make the borough “carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050”.  The airport will not be helping with that.

Click here to view full story…

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Caroline Russell: Action is needed on aircraft noise

Caroline writes in a blog that in parts of London, people are now living with severe levels of noise disruption. This is not acceptable, and urgent, decisive action is needed across the board to alleviate it. For some, the onslaught from Heathrow planes is made worse by the addition of London City planes using narrow, concentrated routes. The noise has significant health impacts for many. A report by the London Assembly’s Environment Committee, which Caroline chairs, concluded that the Government and CAA should regulate noise disturbance more stringently. They should use lower thresholds for noise disturbance (taking into account WHO guidelines and the need for residents to keep windows open) and mapping the combined effect of all London’s airports, especially Heathrow and City.  The WHO guidance is that 45dB is the threshold for health impacts, but the UK government persists with 54dB as the ‘disturbance’ threshold. Also that flight paths should be rotated, to give relief to those under concentrated flight paths – and flight paths should be designed to minimise noise impacts, including avoiding overlapping flight paths. Increasing exposure to aircraft noise is unacceptable, and must be challenged
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Action needed on aircraft noise

27.7.2019  (By Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly Member)

Blog for the No 3rd Runway Coalition

In concentrated pockets in London people are now living with severe levels of noise disruption. This is not acceptable, and urgent, decisive action is needed across the board to alleviate it.

For some overflown Londoners the situation has worsened, with City Airport adopting performance based navigation (PBN) – an operation practice that concentrates arriving flights into narrower corridors.

The experience of people living with the daily nightmare of overhead noise are deeply worrying, as being unable to concentrate, relax or even sleep because of noise disruption has significant health impacts.

A recent report on aircraft noise produced by the London Assembly’s Environment Committee, which I chair, concluded that:

  • The Government and the Civil Aviation Authority should regulate noise disturbance more stringently.

  • This should include the use of lower thresholds for disturbance (taking into account WHO guidelines and the need for residents to keep windows open) and mapping the combined effect of all London’s airports, especially Heathrow and City.

  • Flight paths should be rotated to give respite for those living under concentrated flight paths.

  • Flight paths should be designed to minimise noise impacts: stacking, low-level overflying, and overlapping flight paths should be minimised.

  • All airports should provide predictable periods of respite for residents living under concentrated flight paths.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued guidance confirming that aircraft noise above 45 decibels on average is associated with ill-health, including cardiovascular disease and increases in hypertension.

Our current Government guidance is much less stringent, using a ‘disturbance’ threshold of 54 decibels – it was really disappointing that the recent Aviation Strategy Green Paper does not remedy this.

The impact of aircraft noise is also particularly damaging to children’s education, negatively affecting reading comprehension and memory skills.

The RANCH project, an international study that examined the effects of noise exposure, looked at reading comprehension in 2,010 children aged between 9 and 10 from 89 schools around Amsterdam Schiphol, Madrid Barajas, and London Heathrow airports. They found that a 5 decibel increase in noise exposure is associated with a two-month delay in learning for primary school children in the UK.[1]

And yet Heathrow Airport still proposes to build a new runway to increase flights from around 475,000 to around 740,000 a year. This will have a devastating impacet. The House of Commons Transport Select Committee concluded that more than 323,000 people will be newly affected by noise pollution if expansion at Heathrow goes ahead.[2]

Around 460 schools neighbouring Heathrow already hear aircraft noise above 54 decibels, higher than the onset threshold of the effect on children’s memory and learning. Some have resorted to building pods in the playground for children to shelter in to minimise noise exposure – but playgrounds should be for playing, for kids to stretch their legs, not to have to dash into hiding every few minutes.

A third runway would mean a minimum of 24 more schools suffering from aircraft noise that busts the maximum levels recommended by the World Health Organisation.

The latest noise guidance (Survey of Noise Attitudes, 2014) shows our sensitivity to noise has increased, but this wasn’t reflected in the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement.

The Government refuses to set what it determines an ‘acceptable’ increase in noise level, and can therefore avoid being held to account for the damage they are and will inflict on overflown Londoners.

The drive towards filling airspace capacity must be checked. For too many people, including children, aircraft noise is a major intrusion into their everyday lives. It is not an acceptable price to pay for air travel. It isn’t right and must be challenged.

Caroline Russell

London Assembly Member

Green Party

[1] Clarke et al (2005) “Exposure-Effect Relations between Aircraft and Road Traffic Noise Exposure at School and Reading Comprehension” https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b9cc/64b991c3f981bf9e57dcfdd58e68953d41d6.pdf

[2] TSC (2018) Inquiry into the Airports NPS, Figure 43, p.133 https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmtrans/548/548.pdf

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All the claimants, whose challenges against the DfT on Heathrow expansion were rejected, now given leave to appeal

The Court of Appeal has granted the claimants against the Government’s plans to expand Heathrow permission to appeal their claims in a hearing beginning on 21 October 2019. The Government had argued permission should be refused.  Lord Justice Lindblom stated: “The importance of the issues raised in these and related proceedings is obvious.”  Four Councils (Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith & Fulham, Windsor & Maidenhead) with Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Plan B Earth and the Mayor London sought the appeal, after judges at the High Court ruled against the legal challenges  on 1st May.  Rob Barnstone, of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, commented: “Boris Johnson knows that Heathrow expansion cannot meet environmental targets, including on noise and air pollution. Mr Johnson has indicated he will be following the legal and planning processes very carefully. Then at the appropriate time, the project can be cancelled. We don’t expect any gimmicks but remain confident that Mr Johnson will stop this disastrous project, albeit at the correct time in the process. The decision by the Court of Appeal today may make that time a little sooner than previously thought.” Heathrow Hub has also been given permission to appeal.

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Heathrow third runway campaigners get High Court go-ahead

22.7.2019 (BBC)

Campaigners against the expansion of Heathrow Airport have been given permission to challenge a High Court ruling over plans for a third runway.

Councils, residents, environmental charities and the mayor of London brought four separate judicial reviews of the Government’s decision to approve the plans.

The campaigners had their cases dismissed by two leading judges in May.

They were given the go-ahead to challenge that ruling on Monday.

During a two-week hearing in March they argued the plans would effectively create a “new airport” with the capacity of Gatwick and have “severe” consequences for Londoners.

Lord Justice Lindblom granted permission for a four-day hearing at the Court of Appeal in London, which will begin on 21 October.

Giving reasons for his decision, which he made based on case documents without a hearing, the judge said: “The importance of the issues raised in these and the related proceedings is obvious.”

The High Court case was brought against transport secretary Chris Grayling by local authorities and residents in London affected by the expansion, and charities including Greenpeace, Friends Of The Earth and Plan B.

The campaigners claimed the Government’s National Policy Statement setting out its support for the project failed to properly deal with the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and congestion.

Support from Labour MPs for the expansion helped push through the proposals to expand Europe’s busiest airport with a majority of 296 in a Commons vote in June last year.

Mr Grayling [Failing Grayling] said at the time the new runway would set a “clear path to our future as a global nation in the post-Brexit world”.   Construction could begin in 2021, with the third runway operational by 2026.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-49077721

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HEATHROW COURT APPEAL GRANTED

22 July 2019

No 3rd Runway Coalition press release

The Court of Appeal has granted claimants against the Government’s plans to expand Heathrow permission to appeal their claims in a hearing beginning on 21 October 2019. The Government had argued permission should be refused. Lord Justice Lindblom stated:

“The importance of the issues raised in these and related proceedings is obvious. So too is the need for those issues to be finally resolved as swiftly as possible and with the least multiplication of costs.”

Reacting to the decision, Paul Beckford, Policy Director of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said:

“We welcome the Court of Appeal’s recognition of the seriousness that the Heathrow expansion proposal brings. Our fight will continue to end the plans that would blight our environment and fall flat in the face of our climate emergency. We expect to win.”

Commenting ahead of the likely new prime minister taking office, Rob Barnstone, Coordinator of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said

“Boris Johnson knows that Heathrow expansion cannot meet environmental targets, including on noise and air pollution. Mr Johnson has indicated he will be following the legal and planning processes very carefully. Then at the appropriate time, the project can be cancelled. We don’t expect any gimmicks but remain confident that Mr Johnson will stop this disastrous project, albeit at the correct time in the process. The decision by the Court of Appeal today may make that time a little sooner than previously thought.”

ENDS.

The judgment can be found here: https://planb.earth/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Permission-to-Appeal-Order.pdf

For more information, contact Paul Beckford on  paul@no3rdrunwaycoalition.co.uk

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See earlier:

Hillingdon and the other 4 Councils seek permission to appeal Heathrow ruling

Following the Divisional Court’s decision on 1 May 2019 to dismiss the legal challenge brought by Hillingdon Council and others, expert legal opinion has been sought by them in relation to whether there are any grounds to appeal this decision. There is no automatic right of appeal and permission to appeal is needed, in the first instance, from the court which heard the legal challenge. Therefore, an application for permission to appeal is being made to the Divisional Court on behalf of Hillingdon Council and the other local authorities involved in the legal challenge (Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith & Fulham, Windsor & Maidenhead) – it will be supported by Greenpeace and the Mayor of London.  The appeal is on 2 specific grounds which both have their origin in European Law. 1). Relating to the Habitats Directive, and 2). the relationship of the Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) to the councils’ Local Plans, and the noise assessment and metric used by the government, under the SEA Directive. If the Divisional Court refuses the application, the councils can apply for permission to appeal directly to the Court of Appeal. Plan B and Friends of the Earth are also appealing, on different grounds. The councils have always known this would be a long slog …

Click here to view full story…

Plan B to appeal against the Court’s judgment rejecting the Heathrow legal challenges

Plan B Earth is to Appeal against the decision of the Judges, on 1st May, to reject the legal challenges by the five councils etc, by Friends of the Earth,  Plan B Earth, and Mr Paul Spurrier (as well as Heathrow Hub).  Plan B Earth has published its application for permission to appeal against the judgment of Hickinbottom LJ and Holgate J . “The Appellant wishes to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision … to designate the Airports National Policy Statement (“the ANPS”) in support of the expansion of Heathrow Airport under the Planning Act 2008 (“the 2008 Act”), on the basis of his failure to give proper consideration to the climate change impacts of the proposal.  Plan B mention specific errors, including that the “Court erred in law in treating the minimum target of 80% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2050, established by the Climate Change Act 2008 (“CCA”) as precluding Government policy which implied emissions reduction of greater than 80%: The Court proceeded on the basis that “Government policy relating to … climate change” could not differ at all (or at least could not differ materially) from the base level of the emissions target set out in the CCA. That approach is fundamentally flawed.”

Click here to view full story…

Judges reject judicial review challenges against DfT’s Heathrow 3rd runway NPS

The judges at the High Court have handed down their judgement, which was to reject all the legal challenges against the DfT and the Secretary of State for Transport, on the government decision to approve a 3rd Heathrow runway, through the Airports NPS (National Policy Statement). The judges chose to make their ruling exclusively on the legality, and “rationality” of the DfT decision, ignoring the facts and details of the Heathrow scheme and the NPS process – or the areas where relevant information was ignored by the DfT.  In the view of the judges, the process had been conducted legally. They threw out challenges on air pollution, surface access, noise and habitats – as well as carbon emissions. The latter being on the grounds that the Paris Agreement, though ratified by the UK government, has not been incorporated into UK law, so the DfT did not have to consider it. The Paris Agreement requires countries to aim for only a global 1.5C rise in temperature, not 2 degrees (as in the current UK Climate Change Act). Read comments by Neil Spurrier, one of those making a legal challenge.  There are now likely to be appeals, perhaps even direct to the Supreme Court.

Click here to view full story…

Comment by Plan B Earth and Extinction Rebellion, on Judges’ rejection of Heathrow legal challenges

The High Court dismissed all the legal challenges to the Government’s plans to expand Heathrow, including the claims brought by Friends of the Earth and Plan B on the grounds of inconsistency with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Tim Crosland, Director of Plan B and a legal adviser to Extinction Rebellion, said: “…it is increasingly difficult to see how the Government’s reckless plans to expand Heathrow Airport can proceed. Following the recent Extinction Rebellion protests there is widespread recognition that we are in a state of climate and ecological emergency. The Court has upheld Chris Grayling’s surprising contention that the Paris Agreement is “irrelevant” to Government policy on climate change. It ignored the fact that the Government stated in May last year that it planned to decarbonise the economy by 2050. Instead it accepted Grayling’s argument that the CCC considers the current target of 80% emissions reductions by 2050 to be consistent with the Paris Agreement. Tomorrow the CCC is expected to expose the fallacy of that position by recommending that the Government implement a target of net zero by 2050,… Since that recommendation is obviously inconsistent with the expansion of Heathrow, presumably the plans will now need to be reviewed.”

Click here to view full story…

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Letter by Gatwick area MPs opposing Gatwick 2nd runway expansion plans

MP’s from the Gatwick Co-ordination Group have expressed concerns about the rapid growth plans for Gatwick, in their “master plan”.  The MPs say more people are negatively impacted by Gatwick’s noise operations than 10 years ago, both close to the airport and many miles away under flightpaths, creating health issues and congestion locally through inadequate infrastructure. They say: “Over the past few years Gatwick Airport has continually under invested in the local amenities and social infrastructure that would be required to support a project of this size and scale. We cannot support expansion of the airport without a comprehensive investment in the local area which would ease pressure on the over-stretched road and rail systems serving the airport.  At a time of increasing concern about the environmental impact of global aviation growth, the proposed expansion plans would see a marked increase in carbon emissions, with clearer environmental consequences for us all. … The safeguarding of land for a new full runway is a clear indication that Gatwick has future plans to build a 3rd runway, as well as converting the current standby runway into a second runway.”
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GATWICK CO-ORDINATION GROUP OPPOSE GATWICK AIRPORT MASTERPLAN PROPOSALS

18 July 2019

Press release from the Gatwick Co-ordinator Group, through Tom Tugendhat MP

MP’s from the Gatwick Co-ordination Group have expressed concerns about the rapid growth
plans for Gatwick Airport. This follows Gatwick Airport’s announcement today of expansion plans for what could be a three runway airport.

The MP’s shared the following statement:

“Gatwick has grown significantly over the past decade. It has offered greater numbers of flights to more destinations and created jobs in the process. However, the benefits of growth have not been well distributed with the local community.

More people are impacted by Gatwick’s noise operations than 10 years ago, both close to the
airport and many miles away under flightpaths, creating health issues for local residents and
congestion through inadequate infrastructure.

“Over the past few years Gatwick Airport has continually under invested in the local amenities and social infrastructure that would be required to support a project of this size and scale. We cannot support expansion of the Airport without a comprehensive investment in the local area which would ease pressure on the over-stretched road and rail systems serving the airport.
At a time of increasing concern about the environmental impact of global aviation growth, the
proposed expansion plans would see a marked increase in carbon emissions, with clearer
environmental consequences for us all. We should not be looking at unchecked expansion at our local airports but seeking managed growth that is proportionate to our other national priorities.

The safeguarding of land for a new full runway is a clear indication that Gatwick has future plans to build a third runway, as well as converting the current standby runway into a second runway. With today’s announcement it is now clear that Gatwick Airport’s new owners are determined to push for rapid commercial expansion and aviation growth despite the restrictions imposed upon the airport by its poor transport connections and its rural position adjacent to Green Belt land as well as the arguments made against a third runway at Gatwick in the London Runway Review.

We are keen to enable the airport to make viable returns for its shareholders however this also requires a sustainable and achievable plan for the future of Gatwick Airport which acknowledges the limitations on aviation growth at the site that exist due to local infrastructure, environmental and geographical factors.

Gatwick Airport’s plans to build up to have up to three runways in operation do not represent a sustainable plan for the environment and the local community. It would mean more noise, more carbon emissions, faster climate change, more health problems for local residents and greater congestion. We have written to the Secretary of State to indicate our opposition.”

Sir Paul Beresford MP, Member of Parliament for Mole Valley
Crispin Blunt MP, Member of Parliament for Reigate
The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Member of Parliament for Tunbridge Wells
Gillian Keegan MP, Member of Parliament for Chichester
The Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames MP, Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex
Tom Tugendhat MP, Member of Parliament for Tonbridge and Malling
CC:
The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, Member of Parliament for Guildford
Jeremy Quin MP, Member of Parliament for Horsham

 


 

Letter to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, at the DfT.

From the Gatwick Co-ordination Group of MPs – from the office of Tom Tugendhat MP

18th July 2019

Dear Chris

We are concerned to hear that Gatwick airport, as part of its master plan is proposing to bring the standby runway into routine use. This would be a second runway by any other name and cause many problems for our communities with thousands of people losing sleep and having their lives blighted by noise.

As you know late last year Gatwick airport went to consultation on its master plan and a number of us responded to share the views of the communities we represent. In this document, growth forecasts were provided which indicate that use of the standby runway would see a 51% growth in passenger numbers and a 36% growth in air traffic movements compared to the current position. At a time when the infrastructure in and around the airport is stretched,  we are concerned about how deliverable is plans are.

Over the past few years Gatwick airport has continually under invested in the local amenities and social infrastructure that would be required to support a project of this size and scale. We cannot support expansion of the airport without a comprehensive investment in the local area which would ease pressure on the overstretched road and rail systems serving the airport.

In addition, the pressing need to address climate change and environmental issues is in sharp focus and we are concerned that supporting a second runway by default would result in more emissions. This would create health issues for local residents and the growth at the airport over the past 10 years illustrates that the resulting increase in carbon emissions would have clear environmental consequences for us all.

Though we will wait to see the Development Consent Order which is brought forward by the airport we are very concerned about this idea in principle at it is not something which we as local MPs are able to support. Growth at Gatwick airport would mean more noise and emissions and we hope that the Department for Transport will not approve any expansion of the airport.

Best wishes.

Signed by

Sir Paul Beresford MP
Crispin Blunt MP
The Right Honourable Greg Clark MP
Gillian Keegan MP
The Right Honourable Sir Nicholas Soames MP
Tom Tom Tugendhat MP

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See earlier:

 

Gatwick plans to use emergency runway as 2nd runway, to increase passengers by 50% by 2030

Gatwick has published its Final Master Plan which confirms its plans to use its emergency runway as a second runway, by widening and re-aligning it.  Gatwick says it is not considering building another runway to the south of the existing main runway, but wants to keep that land “safeguarded” for up to 25 years, in case it wants another (3rd) runway in due course. It hopes to have the emergency runway brought into use for departures by the mid-2020s. They will start to prepare a planning application for this, which will have to go through the Development Consent Order (DCO) process. Local group GACC commented that Gatwick’s new owners, the Vinci Group, have shown immediate disregard for their local community neighbours. The plans will damage and blight the lives of thousands of residents surrounding the airport, due to the noise and severe effects on a local infrastructure that is already overburdened. The extra flights, including those at night, will have serious impacts on those further away living under flight paths. The proposals to grow the airport’s capacity by between 20% and 50% over the next 10 – 12 years involve not only the 2nd runway, but also use of new technology on the main runway.  This will hugely increase the airport’s carbon emissions.

Click here to view full story…

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Gatwick plans to use emergency runway as 2nd runway, to increase passengers by 50% and increase flights by 36% by 2030

Gatwick has published its Final Master Plan which confirms its plans to use its emergency runway as a second runway, by widening and re-aligning it.  Gatwick says it is not considering building another runway to the south of the existing main runway, but wants to keep that land “safeguarded” for up to 25 years, in case it wants another runway in due course. It hopes to have the emergency runway brought into use for departures by the mid-2020s. They will start to prepare a planning application for this, which will have to go through the Development Consent Order (DCO) process. Local group GACC commented that Gatwick’s new owners, the Vinci Group, have shown immediate disregard for their local community neighbours. The plans will damage and blight the lives of thousands of residents surrounding the airport, due to the noise and severe effects on a local infrastructure that is already overburdened. The extra flights, including those at night, will have serious impacts on those further away living under flight paths. The proposals to grow the airport’s capacity by between 20% and 50% over the next 10 – 12 years involve not only the 2nd runway, but also use of new technology on the main runway. 
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Master Plan at 

https://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/business–community/growing-gatwick/master-plan-2019/gatwick-master-plan-2019.pdf


Gatwick plans to use emergency runway to increase passenger capacity by 50 per cent by 2030

By  STEPHANIE COCKROFT (Evening Standard)

18th July 2019

Gatwick says it has abandoned plans to build an additional runway but will bring the airport’s emergency runway into “routine use” by 2020.

The airport said it is preparing a planning application to get the second airstrip ready so it can be used alongside the main runway for departures.

If the plans are approved, the airport would aim to be serving around 70million passengers by the early 2030s.

The airport currently caters for around 46m passengers, meaning the capacity would be increased by around 50 per cent.

Plans for an additional runway, which it has abandoned as part of the masterplan, would have served up to around 92m passengers.

Last year Heathrow – which is the location chosen by the government for a new full-length runway – handled 78 million passengers.

The airport, the second largest in the UK after Heathrow, said it hoped the runway would be in use by the middle of 2020.

The announcement follows public consultation, in which two-thirds of people said the airport should make the most of its existing runways.

Another public consultation will be held once the planning application for the standby runway is submitted.

Gatwick said the plan is the “most sustainable way” for the airport to expand over the next 15 years.

London Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “The plans would deliver additional capacity for Gatwick, which will provide choices for the future – including incrementally growing our airport to meet demand and continuing to provide solid operational performance for passengers and airlines.

“This would be the biggest private investment for the region in the coming years, which would result in significant local economic benefits, including new jobs for the area.

“Gatwick’s global connections are needed more than ever but as we take our plans forward, we must do so in the most sustainable and responsible way and in full partnership with our local councils, communities, passengers and partners.”

The announcement has already drawn criticism from campaign groups with Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions saying: “This is simply a second runway by stealth.”

They added: “To use the emergency runway alongside the main runway is in affect a second runway as it will have to be moved by some 12 metres to allow it to be used.

“As such it is a second runway without the full parliamentary scrutiny or any funding for our roads or railway line that will see a huge increase in passenger and workers numbers migrating into Gatwick.”

Gatwick currently consists of the main runway and the standby runway, which is used certain circumstances, including when there is maintenance on the main runway.

The airport began campaigning for a new runway when management published proposals in 2013 as a solution to the chronic shortage of aviation capacity in South East England.

Its expansion plans were dealt a blow in October 2016 when the government rejected its proposal for a new second runway, giving the go-ahead for Heathrow to build a third runway.

At the time, a Gatwick Airport spokesman said it was disappointed with the decision, which was “not the right answer for Britain”.

It disputed the Airports Commission’s findings that the economic benefits of a Heathrow expansion would be greater.

Gatwick is the second-busiest airport in the UK and the busiest single-runway in the world in terms of flight movement.

It serves more than 230 destinations in 74 countries for 46 million passengers a year as well as generating around 85,000 jobs nationally, with 24,000 of these located on the airport.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/travelnews/gatwick-abandons-plans-for-third-runway-but-plans-to-bring-standby-runway-into-routine-use-a4193241.html

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This is Gatwick’s report on its consultation:

https://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/business–community/growing-gatwick/master-plan-2019/gatwick-consultation-report.pdf


GACC comment on the news of Gatwick’s expansion plans:

18.7.2019 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Gatwick’s new owners, the Vinci Group, have shown immediate disregard for their local community neighbours.

The purchase deal was sealed on 14th May this year and just two months later GAL (Gatwick Airport Ltd) have announced devastating expansion plans that will damage and blight the lives of thousands of residents surrounding the airport as well impacting on those further away living under flight paths.

The proposals to grow the airports capacity by between 20% and 50% over the next ten to twelve years involves use of new technology on the main runway and re-aligning and widening the existing emergency (or standby) runway to form a second runway.

Despite claiming that Gatwick is no longer pursuing an additional full runway GAL also wish to continue to blight residents living to the south of the airport with its demand to maintain the safeguarding land from any other development for anything up to 25 years.

The use of the Emergency Runway in conjunction with the Main Runway will substantially increase the noise and health impacts particularly on residents living to the north of the airport. The increase in the number of flights would have considerable noise impacts on those beneath the already concentrated flight paths surrounding the airport. This proposed growth will have severe effects on a local infrastructure already overburdened as a result of current growth.

Chairman of GACC, Peter Barclay, concluded “Despite communities already rejecting the Draft Master Plan in November last year GAL continues to push for unsustainable growth. GACC and other local community groups have met and unanimously agreed to challenge these proposals as robustly as possible. In a world that is fast recognising aviation’s negative impact on health through noise impacts and air pollution, together with its contribution to climate change, GAL and the aviation industry ignore these impacts and blindly steamroller their unsustainable demands forward. “

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See also:

Letter by Gatwick area MPs opposing Gatwick 2nd runway expansion plans

MP’s from the Gatwick Co-ordination Group have expressed concerns about the rapid growth plans for Gatwick, in their “master plan”.  The MPs say more people are negatively impacted by Gatwick’s noise operations than 10 years ago, both close to the airport and many miles away under flightpaths, creating health issues and congestion locally through inadequate infrastructure. They say: “Over the past few years Gatwick Airport has continually under invested in the local amenities and social infrastructure that would be required to support a project of this size and scale. We cannot support expansion of the airport without a comprehensive investment in the local area which would ease pressure on the over-stretched road and rail systems serving the airport.  At a time of increasing concern about the environmental impact of global aviation growth, the proposed expansion plans would see a marked increase in carbon emissions, with clearer environmental consequences for us all. … The safeguarding of land for a new full runway is a clear indication that Gatwick has future plans to build a 3rd runway, as well as converting the current standby runway into a second runway.”

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Gatwick Airport PR says:

18th July 2019

Gatwick Airport today published its Final Master Plan which confirms plans to take forward the sustainable development of the airport.

In October 2018, our Draft Master Plan consultation set out three scenarios for future growth:

  1. Using new technology to build capacity and resilience on the main runway;
  2. Bringing the existing standby runway into routine use for departures only alongside the main runway by the mid-2020s;
  3. Recommending planning policy continues to safeguard land for an additional runway.

In total, we received more than 5,000 responses and were encouraged that two-thirds (66%) of people supported the principle of growing Gatwick by making best use of our existing runways, in line with Government policy.

As a result, we will progress with plans to introduce new technology to build capacity and resilience on our main runway. We are also announcing today that we will prepare a planning application to bring our standby runway into routine use.

The innovative proposals for the standby runway will deliver additional capacity at the airport that enables us to balance operational resilience and sustainable growth.

As one of the biggest private investments in the region, the scheme will deliver greater connectivity, a better passenger experience through greater competition, and an economic boost that secures jobs and opportunities for generations to come. These benefits can all be delivered while keeping the airport’s noise footprint broadly similar to today’s levels, and with minimal disruption to our neighbours and the environment. (sic).

The consultation report, also published today, provides extensive feedback on our consultation and those views will help shape our plans as we prepare a Development Consent Order – a rigorous planning process that will include further engagement and public consultation next year and culminates in a final decision by the Secretary of State.

We will now carry out a number of detailed studies to assess the impacts and benefits of our proposals before consulting the public again next year.

We are also recommending that national and local planning policy continues to safeguard the land that would be required for a new runway, should it be required in the longer-term.

However, we reiterate today that we are no longer actively pursuing plans for an additional runway.

We will of course keep you up to date at regular intervals as our plans progress. In the meantime further information on our plans is available at www.gatwickairport.com/futureplans

You can also sign up to our community newsletter at www.gatwickairport.com/communitynewsletter

Stewart Wingate
Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport

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