On Sunday 12th April the village of Harmondsworth hosted an open day, to show off the village – and inform visitor about what plans for a Heathrow north-west runway would mean for the area. The Heathrow Villages are fighting for their survival. If Heathrow is allowed to build its north west runway, Harmondsworth will be destroyed. Much of it would be built over, with the airport’s northern boundary slicing off around half of the village. Longford would disappear altogether. During the open day, held on the village green, there were tours of the magnificent early 15th Century Great Barn, and walking tours of the village and of Harmondsworth Moor. A huge canvas had been created, showing a plane and a wire boundary fence – which would be where the airport would come to within a few yards of the current village centre. Though the Great Barn and the Church of St Mary the Virgin would not be demolished, their proximity to the airport boundary would mean the level of noise and air pollution would be intolerable. In an effective short video, Neil Keveren explains how people in the area have been living through hell, unable to plan for their future – or even make decisions about whether to do improvement work on their homes – because of the Sword of Damocles threat hanging over them. And Christine Taylor shows on a map what would be destroyed.
Campaigners protest over third runway at Heathrow
A day of action was held at Harmondsworth, near Heathrow, to highlight “the devastation” that local residents and campaigners know would be caused by a third runway.
Historic buildings would be under threat in villages around the airport from the development with hundreds of thousands more flights causing extra noise and pollution across the Thames Valley and over London.
Harmondsworth is one of attractive Heathrow villages, and residents are working hard to protect its historic buildings and community.
Its magnificent early 15th-century Great Barn was described by Sir John Betjeman as the cathedral of Middlesex.
Map below showing Harmondsworth village, and approximate line where Heathrow airport’s northern boundary, with a new north-west boundary, would demolish the southern half of the village.
Film on YouTube
Film on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvJmG4M1soU&feature=youtu.beWhile the village communities of Harmondsworth and Sipson will be torn apart by a third runway, The village of Longford will be erased from the map With it hundreds of years of English heritage will be buried beneath the tarmac..
Harmondsworth takes stand against Heathrow’s third runway plans
21.4.2015 (Get West London)
The village united with parliamentary candidates for an open day to show what would be lost if Heathrow’s third runway plans are approved
Harmondsworth villagers unite in their stance against the third runway
Harmondsworth villagers staged an open day to show members of the public what would be destroyed if a third runway at Heathrow Airport goes ahead.
Residents of the ancient village were joined by prospective parliamentary candidates for Hayes & Harlington on April 12 to make a stand against the third runway.
The event was organised by Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) and Friends of the Great Barn to protect Harmondsworth, which originated as a Saxon manor.
John McDonnell, previous MP and Labour candidate for Hayes & Harlington, said: “I am confident that we can defeat the threat of a third runway once again and once and for all.
“I was so pleased to see the Heathrow villagers rallying to our campaign to save the village once more.
“The Harmondsworth open day demonstrated what a beautiful village would be lost if the third runway went ahead.”
The parliamentary candidates stopped for photos to reiterate their stand against a possible third runway at Heathrow.
Alick Munro, Green candidate for Hayes & Harlington, said: “As a GP with patients in Harlington, I am daily made aware of the effects of air pollution. About one in three of my patients asks for help to cope with their cough, even although the prevalence of smoking in the area is low.
“Nitric oxide and small particle pollution from traffic fumes are well known to make runny nose and itchy eyes worse and aggravate the results of lung function tests.”
UKIP’s Cliff Dixon said: “The residents of Hillingdon have overwhelmingly rejected the project in a referendum. It is time the government and the airport listened to the wishes of the people.”
A focus of the event was the reopening of the 15th-century Great Barn since the completion of major repairs by English Heritage.
Poet Sir John Betjeman, who spoke to visitors at the event, described the barn as “the cathedral of Middlesex”, which was saved from developers by the intervention of a group of determined villagers.
Neil Keveren, chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE), said: “This is a chance for us to show to the world that we are utterly determined to fight for our homes and our community. We will not be going anywhere else.”
The event included the unveiling of a giant mural on Cambridge Close, especially created for the open day, to illustrate the proposed airport boundary cutting through the village.
Mr Keveren added: “We are thankful for the backing we have received from Hillingdon Council and from Harts, the community arts project”.
As well as displaying the mural, SHE and HARTS set up a tree-planting planting project in the Heathrow Villages, with the first tree planted in Harmondsworth Recreation Ground on the day.
World War Two RAF veteran Tommy Thomas, who is one of the oldest residents of the village at age 93, was chosen to plant the oak tree.
As well as the oak, nine new trees now form a triangular grove just south of Harmondsworth primary school.
The Airports Commission has been examining potential sites for new runways in the South East and is expected to publish its final report in June.
SHE hopes to take the canvas on its folding frame to various locations before the Davies Commission announces its recommendation.
Campaigners’ artwork shows life with a third runway
12.4.2015 (SHE – Stop Heathrow Expansion)
A huge artwork created by campaign group, Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE), was used on Sunday 12th April to show Harmondsworth residents how a new airport boundary would cut through their village.
Neil Keveren explaining the huge canvas to the crowd
The painted canvas depicts a wire airport perimeter fence, in front of an imposing aircraft with a control tower in the background. Two solitary residents, shown as silhouettes in the foreground, look through the fence at what was once their village.
As part of the Great Barn Open Day event, the portable canvas was unveiled in Cambridge Close. If Heathrow’s North West option for a third runway is given the go ahead, the Close would be demolished together with all the homes and businesses to the south of the published boundary line, including the primary school. Current plans indicate The Crown public house and properties lining the village green would be left.
Neil Keveren, SHE’s Chair, unveiled the artwork with the assistance of two climate change protestors dressed as polar bears. Representatives from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Plane Stupid, Transition Heathrow and HACAN, showed their support by placing their logos on the painted fence.
Local politicians and parliamentary candidates from the Labour, Conservative, UKIP and Green parties also joined villagers to pledge their support for the anti-expansion campaign.
SHE hopes to take the canvas on its folding frame to various locations before the Davies Commission announces its recommendation in June.
There is a moving and expressive short film, showing how the Harmondsworth village will be devastated, with half destroyed.
Film on YouTube
Film on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvJmG4M1soU&feature=youtu.beWhile the village communities of Harmondsworth and Sipson will be torn apart by a third runway, The village of Longford will be erased from the map With it hundreds of years of English heritage will be buried beneath the tarmac.
Map shows the area (red line) that would be compulsorily purchased (750homes), for a Heathrow north west runway, and the area (purple line) which Heathrow will now also offer to buy (total 3,750 homes).Details here
Over 30 polar bears invaded Heathrow’s recently opened Terminal Two in a protest against plans for a 3rd runway. In a lively flash-mob, the polar bears hung up banners, played in the terminal and danced to music produced by sound systems. They were watched by somewhat bemused travellers …….The action, which started on the dot of 11am, lasted about 30 minutes. No arrests were made, as the protesters left of their own accord. The direct action network Plane Stupid is thought to have been behind the protest which was timed to coincide with the big “Time to Act” climate change march that took place in central London at lunchtime. Many of the polar bears travelled to Westminster, to take part in the march. The building of a new south east runway, whether at Heathrow or at Gatwick, would mean that UK aviation carbon targets would be breached (the Airports Commission is aware of this) and UK carbon targets would also be at risk. To permit expansion of aviation CO2 emissions, all other sectors have to make cuts of over 85% – even 90% – in their carbon emissions. Otherwise the UK would not meet its legally binding carbon target for 2050. A Plane Stupid spokesperson said: “If the Government is serious about tackling climate change, it should not even be thinking about a third runway at Heathrow.”
On Saturday over 30 polar bears invaded Heathrow’s recently opened Terminal Two in a protest against the third runway. The bears hung banners, played in the terminal and danced to sound systems. The action, which started on the dot of 11am, lasted about 30 minutes. No arrests were made as the protesters left of their own accord.
The direct action network Plane Stupid is thought to have been behind the protest which was timed to coincide with the big climate change march that took place in London yesterday.
“Rob Gray” from Plane Stupid said, “If the Government is serious about tackling climate change, it should not even be thinking about a third runway at Heathrow.”
John Stewart, chair of HACAN, the anti-third runway campaign group, which was alerted to the protest, said, “Plane Stupid played a famous role in defeating the third runway last time round. This action is a warning that the direct action protesters will be out in force again if a new runway is given the green light.”
One of the polar bears, interviewed after the event, commented:
As well as about 30 bears, there was someone dressed as a pilot who unfortunately got attacked by bears! There was lots of chanting “No Third Runway” etc and banners. A couple of polar bears tried to display a banner over the balcony of a café but this was rapidly taken down by staff – who were definitely not amused! There were mixed reactions from other airport staff. One security woman would have liked to cart us all off to the Tower. Other airport staff thought it amusing and took photos of the flashmob, as did many real tourists. As well as the bears (many of whom were young bears) having great fun, there was a deep sense of commitment and determination – and very real concerns about the climate impacts of a new runway.
Many of the polar bears then made their way , on public transport, to take part in the Climate March taking place in central London.
Strong “No New Runways” bloc gets its message across at the London Time To Act Climate March
March 7, 2015
The huge “Time To Act” on Climate Change march was held in London on Saturday 7th March. There was a good turnout, described by some as “over 5,000″ and by others as nearer 20,000 (numbers are always hard to be accurate on). The “No New Runways” bloc had a good attendance, from Gatwick and from Heathrow opposition groups, as well as many individuals. Gatwick protesters from CAGNE wore pantomime devil horns, and T-shirts with the logo “Gatwick, Neighbour From Hell.” Many people who stand to lose their homes, to be bulldozed for a new Heathrow runway, too part. The AirportWatch banner read “No New Runways”, and another” Aviation Expansion = Climate Threat. The runway bloc were with others in the transport bloc, and marched from Lincoln’s Inn Fields to Parliament, where the speeches took place. During the speeches John McDonnell (the MP for Hayes and Harlington, which the Heathrow north west runway would wipe out) spoke of the need for climate action, not least to oppose a new runway – digging up the village of Harmondsworth. He described the level of protest and direct action that would happen, if the north west runway was recommended, as unprecedented and the “mother of” all environmental battles. The aim of the march is to put pressure on political parties before the general election, and raise the profile of climate change ahead of crucial climate talks in Paris in December.
The remarkable “Grow Heathrow”squatter community, occupying land near Heathrow in protest at the airport’s expansion, are expected to be evicted by bailiffs today – or soon. They say they will “peacefully” resist, but a range of non-violent means, including digging tunnels and locking themselves onto items. Grow Heathrow, which includes some 15 families, moved onto a derelict site near Sipson in 2010. The privately owned land had been a wasteland, and an area for anti-social activities. Grow Heathrow cleared rubbish from the site, and created a garden, as well as being as self sufficient in food as possible. They also ran creative and artistic workshops, and a positive and productive community. However, the land owner wants the land back, perhaps for sale to Heathrow airport (their 3rd runway plans would make most of Sipson impossible to live in). Many local people in Sipson have been delighted to have Grow Heathrow as neighbours, rather than a derelict site. The local MP, John McDonnell said he “wholeheartedly” supported the activists. “These are people who not only helped us fight off the third runway, they’ve actually occupied a site which would have been the sixth terminal for the expanded Heathrow Airport.”
Grow Heathrow squatters pledge ‘peaceful’ resistance to bailiffs
Members of Grow Heathrow have been on the site since 2010
Squatters occupying land near Heathrow in protest at the airport’s expansion say they will “peacefully” resist bailiffs.
About 15 families moved onto a derelict site near Sipson in 2010, creating a garden they call Grow Heathrow.
The land is privately owned and after a lengthy legal battle, the High Court ruled in favour of the owner and ordered the protesters to leave.
The protesters were due to be evicted on Friday morning.
Paddy Reynolds, a member of Grow Heathrow, said: “We plan to peacefully meet them with a barricade of music and dancing and singing.
“If they were to get past that and go inside the actual site, they’d find there’s lots of people there prepared to not very easily be moved from the site, in a very peaceful way.”
BBC London 94.9’s reporter Richard Main, who is at the scene, said the owner of the site, Imran Malik, had entered and left the site after taking a letter from local Labour MP John McDonnell.
The MP for Hayes and Harlington has been trying to arrange for the protesters either to buy or rent the land.
Eddy Charles, who has been a resident at the site for one year, said: “The owner and the bailiffs have arrived but I can’t imagine they will do anything today now.
“We are not feeling nervous any more. It’s been warming to see such great numbers turn up and try and protect this space. I think everyone is feeling very upbeat and empowered.”
Earlier protesters had locked the gates and barricaded themselves in, before later opening them.
The local authority, Hillingdon Council, is opposed to the airport’s expansion, but its deputy leader David Simmonds said he could not condone any illegal action.
“We’d like to see them treated sympathetically, and we’ve been very grateful for the support that they’ve provided in that local campaign which has helped in the recent past to persuade the government that expansion shouldn’t go ahead,” he said.
Mr McDonnell said he “wholeheartedly” supported them.
“These are people who not only helped us fight off the third runway, they’ve actually occupied a site which would have been the sixth terminal for the expanded Heathrow Airport.
“They’ve helped us not just in that campaign, but they’ve become part of the community and they’ve turned what was a derelict site into a real community asset and they’re at the heart of our community.”
After transforming a derelict plot of land into a community market garden in a bid to prevent a third runway being built at Heathrow Airport, a group of squatters are set to be evicted.
Having made Vineries Close in Sipson their home since 2010 they are not prepared to give up their self-built homes easily and have offered their supporters workshops and coaching lessons in how to defend the land.
There is fighting talk from the group of squatters who, under the name of Grow Heathrow, have occupied a slice of greenbelt land in west London for the past four years, seducing their supporters with a post on their website, offering up nature’s rewards.
“If Grow Heathrow hasn’t been evicted, we’re going to bottle loads of blackberries. Bring clean empty jars and you will earn respect, win honour and know true righteousness. If we have been evicted, we’ll just go and eat blackberries.”
The 15 full-time activists and their hundreds of supporters have cleared the site of 30 tonnes of rubbish and created a self-sufficient community, all in defiance of a third runway being built at Heathrow.
From a wasteland full of rubbish, the residents and volunteers have created a luscious garden
Behind the “doors” they care for the land, building homes from trees, selling produce in the local shop and offering workshops on subjects from bike maintenance to foraging, for anyone who wishes to join them.
The group wanted to create a “place of resistance” for Sipson residents who had seen “the heart ripped out of the community” with the buy-up of land and property by the airport in anticipation of a new runway.
But while Sipson properties may have been spared under new plans, which would see a potential runway built further west than originally proposed, the Grow Heathrow protest site still lies in its path.
The land is owned by businessman Imran Malik and although the activists have garnered support from local residents, MPs and even a judge, they have been told that despite the commendable work it is time to hand the land back to its rightful owner.
Last year Mr Malik, represented by Burch Phillips & Co Solicitors, secured a ruling to evict them, a decision that was upheld during a challenge by the activists at the Court of Appeal in July.
The result means the bailiffs are due to arrive later.
Volunteers estimated that 30 tonnes of rubbish was initially cleared from the site
Georgia Woods, 21, who moved to the site when she was 18, said: “It’s very hard not knowing what’s going to happen and for the incredible space to be threatened.”
The squatters moved onto the site in March 2010 but it is not just a point they wanted to make, it was also about trying to save homes and livelihoods.
Ms Woods said: “We don’t get paid but we all have to do things that make the site run, like growing food or running the free community workshops.
“With the solar panels and wind turbine we have more than enough energy for phones, lights and music. We have totally normal electricity but you learn to appreciate the weather so much more.
Foraging is one of the jobs required to be undertaken by residents of the site
“It’s really understanding the power of community and a gift economy.”
Ms Woods’ home has come from the land too.
“Mine’s made out of hazel and it’s just very small and has got a little woodburner which we built,” she said.
“We’re happier and creating a lighter footprint on the world rather than causing harm to someone through our consumerist polluting lifestyle.”
Even in the depths of winter in 2010 the residents remained self-sufficient and living on site
Despite the idyll of living on a currency-free land, Grow Heathrow does recognise harsh reality and has been trying to buy or rent the land from Mr Malik.
The group has so far offered £50,000, which they say is “above market value” and would have been generated through a crowd-funding project.
John McDonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlington, who has supported the squatters “from the first day” said: “We’ve been trying to get involved in some formal negotiations and asked them to get around the table, we’re quite happy as a community to rent the site.
“We’ve heard nothing back from the solicitors, but the door is always open.”
Whether or not it is right that an MP supports the squatters, Mr McDonnell said it had been a “tremendous success and a brilliant asset”.
A wind turbine and solar panels have been constructed to generate enough electricity for every day life
“It’s a demonstration that a small part of land can be so environmentally sustainable, it’s a shining example of what you can do through voluntary effort and what Grow Heathrow have done is turned it back to what it was, an environmental benefit for the area,” he said.
However, little consideration has been given to what happens after the bailiffs arrive.
Rob Hickley, 32, a gardener, said: “We’re not really thinking that far ahead yet, but with the relationships made over the past five years perhaps people will stay with others in the community.
“People will be made homeless as a result of this.”
Grow Heathrow has been running workshops and classes to prepare people for the arrival of the bailiffs
Heathrow Airport said it recognised that as well as “bringing huge advantages to the UK and the local people” a new runway would have “downsides for people living nearby”.
It said: “That is why we have rejected our previous plans for a third-runway and have put forward a new option further to the west of the airport, which strikes a better balance between the need for growth and local communities like Sipson.”
That is of little consolation to the squatters, who will be evicted regardless of where a runway could eventually be built.
Ms Woods said: “It’s been four and a half years, we had no idea it would last that long. We thought it was going to be squatted for potentially months, so it has been a success.
“Everyone’s pretty apprehensive and it’s pretty scary, but we’re not doing anything wrong, we’re doing amazing things.”
Efforts have been made to contact Mr Malik but, having recently parted company with his solicitors, he has not been located.
“Grow Heathrow” still hanging on in Sipson – which would be wiped out by a 3rd northern runway
25.11.2013A small Transition community calling itself Grow Heathrow set up in Sipson three years ago, in order to give heart to the community, so badly damaged by the runway threat and the purchase by Heathrow airport of many properties. The Grow Heathrow site is a hub for local residents and environmental activists to share knowledge and practical skills such as organic gardening, permaculture design, bicycle maintenance and wood and metal work. They endeavour to be self-reliance, producing their own food; by use of solar and wind power, as well as simpler heating technologies, they are completely “off grid”. They collect water from the greenhouse roofs to feed the plants, fruit and vegetables; they use fuel-efficient rocket stoves to heat water; they have compost toilets making “humanure.” The site has been under threat of eviction for many months. Following an Appeal Court decision on 3rd July 2013 that the landowner could take possession, nothing has happened. They could be evicted at any time. They are still trying to negotiate with the landowner to buy the land, and the legal process seeking to apply to appeal to the Supreme Court is still trundling along. Meanwhile Heathrow’s proposal for a 3rd runway in the Harmondsworth area, west of Sipson, has been short-listed by the Airports Commission.
Grow Heathrow campaigners fight eviction at High Court
A group of young people, calling themselves “Grow Heathrow”, set up a market garden and informal community on squatted land in Sipson in 2010. The land had been derelict and was not being used by its owner, Mr Malik. He has been attempting to remove the squtters, who are environmental activists, for the past two years or more. The case for their eviction went to the High Court on Tuesday 15th January. Grow Heathrow say their case is an important challenge to the idea that landlords can leave land empty in the middle of a housing crisis. Mr Malik was given the judgement of possession in July. The basis of Grow Heathrow’s appeal is Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is the right to have a home and family life. On the one hand, Grow Heathrow say they have added “social value” of the garden while it is wrong to keep the owner out of land for which he had paid a six-figure sum. Given the widespread importance of the issues raised by the case, Lords Justice Ward, Lloyd and Toulson are expected to reserve their decision until a later date – probably 14th February.
“Grow Heathrow” in court facing eviction from their organic gardening site in Sipson – (now delayed a few weeks)
The “Grow Heathrow” community, who have turned an area in Sipson that was once a “derelict mess”, into a thriving market garden, are facing eviction. However, the young people living there are popular with the local community, who want them to stay. When they arrived several years ago, they cleared as much as 30 tonnes of rubbish off the site, renovated greenhouses and now grow organic lettuces, courgettes,squashes etc. The site happens to be where a 3rd runway was to be built – a location in many of their neighbours’ interests to protect. The owner of the land wants his land back, and a hearing at Central London County Court began on Monday but the judge has decided to take more time, so they are not due back in court for several weeks. The court is expected to weigh up the human rights and hard work of those who have moved in against the simple fact the land is not theirs.
17.11.2011Transition Heathrow’s “Grow Heathrow” project were due to be in court on 17th November, for a hearing about having them evicted from the site they are occupying at Sipson. The judge took into account the human rights arguments and adjourned the case to the higher authority of Central London County Court where a two day hearing will take place in a few months time. The owner of the site wants the land back, though it had been neglected for years, and Grow Heathrow has turned it into a thriving community venture.
Up to 20,000 or so people (estimates vary) gathered at Notre Dame des Landes over the weekend of 5th and 6th July, from across France, to support the campaign against the planned airport, and show their solidarity. Though dampened by almost continuous rain on the first day, spirits were not dimmed, and some 50 talks and debates went on – under canvas. There were also concerts by popular French singers, as well as stalls and activities for all ages. Some of those taking part in the weekend are opposing other Large Unnecessary Imposed Projects (Les Grands Projets Inutiles Imposés) across France, with a sincere desire to stop mega-projects that do great environmental harm, for dubious economic benefit. Work on the airport project has been frozen since 2012, largely due to legal obstructions. The last large protest by the Nantes opponents, organised by ACIPA, was on 22 February 2014, attended by between 20 000 and 50 000 people in streets of Nantes, which was severely policed, and from which there were injuries and some public damage.This weekend’s event was peaceful, and once the sun came out, the sky was filled with protest kites.
Below are some articles about the Notre Dame des Landes gathering, on 5th and 6th July, in imperfect English (original articles in French).
John Stewart, (Chair of AirportWatch and of HACAN at Heathrow) attended the gathering. His comment:
“They came from all over France and beyond. They came in the weather so wet it would put West Wales to shame. They came in record number. Perhaps 20,000 people – or maybe more – came to the protest weekend at Nantes.
The long-running campaign against a new airport at Notre-Dames-des-Landes in West France has become cause célèbre in France. The protesters have gained so much support, including, critically, from direct action activists, that it is difficult to see the authorities finding a way to build the airport even if they overcome the legal obstacles and get hold of the money.
More widely, it is yet more living proof of the opposition new airports or new runways generate. Nowhere in Europe can the authorities be confident of getting expansion plans through.”
Thousands of opponents of the proposed airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes (44) flocked this Saturday, on the site to assist in the rain at large summer gathering of the movement and call for the abandonment of the project disputed transfer from Nantes-Atlantique Airport.
> Back to 15 dates in a controversial [Interactive Timeline] project
From all over France or other European countries, opponents flocked around the stands and marquees debates, but also on narrow roads near the site, which bouchonnaient as a day of going on holiday. In the late afternoon, between 7,000 and 8,000 people were indeed on the spot according to the organizers, more than 4,000 according to police, just before the concert headliners of the first day of the rally, Miossec, Sanseverino and Pigalle . Duflot and Bové support”In Brussels, we also have problems with the aircraft, it touches all people who are in this movement,” says Juliette, a young woman from Belgium with two friends, all three covered with long ponchos rain.
“We are farmers, for us it is important to defend the land to feed the people,” says Réjane a fifties activist first time came Loire-Atlantique.
“It should not be, because the development of air transport is a dead end, Airport Bouguenais (Nantes-Atlantique, Ed) works very well, a simple financial logic shows that the project of Notre-Dame-des- Landes is an aberration, “said Thierry, who came from Loire-Atlantique too.
Surprise guest, former Minister of Housing environmentalist Cécile Duflot arrived mid afternoon, at ease among his friends struggle. “We need to kind of pressure that we posed to the people who live and work here and who, for so many years, living with a sword of Damocles over the head. It has to stop now, “said MP EELV.
Not far from her, José Bové MEP EELV, said that “we are at a turning point in the struggle of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. It is clear that today the state is beginning to understand that this project will not succeed. ” Optimism tempered in the wet fields of Bellevue farm, north of the “Area of deferred development” or Zad project, now 18 months since the heart of the peasant resistance, debates succeed in capitals.
Opponents farm Thousand Cows in the Somme, the “No-Tav” (opponents of the Lyon-Turin railway line), through defenders AMAP (Association for the maintenance of peasant agriculture) or even opponents denouncing police violence use launchers soft ball all currents meet.
Artists also came to militants. “I am a kind of citizen who wants to ecology and who want a friendly environment, I have no desire there is an airport here,” says Sanseverino, making the balance of his concert in rain.
Optimism prevails, since the announcement this winter by the Government that the work will not begin until the end of legal proceedings. But Julien Durand, spokesman for the ACIPA, the main association of opponents, “as we will not have an official signature of the government adopting the declaration of public utility, the project can always go back.”
Notre-Dame-des-Landes: new opponents rally at the airport
On the occasion of their big summer rally, thousands of opponents of the airport project can be found on the site on Saturday.
Thousands of opponents of the proposed airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) Saturday began pouring on the site at the time of their great summer, rain rally to demand the abandonment of the disputed transfer from Nantes Atlantique Airport project.
The first debate, for example on the “civil disobedience”, began in mid-day under large tents set up in the fields around the Bellevue farm, became the center of peasant protest on the site for the airport, was a journalist of the AFP .
The promise in the afternoon of the first day of the rally, of concerts by Miossec , Sanseverino or Pigalle promised to draw a lot of people – despite the rain. Sanseverino was already mid-day balance of his concert on the main stage at the bottom of a large banner which proclaims on yellow background, “Abandonment is now.” (L’Abandon. C’est Maintenant).
Set up all around the arena were stalls of various militant anti-capitalist and anti-globalization struggles, as opposed to the “farm thousand cows in the Somme, or No-Tav (not TGV Lyon-Turin), representing their own struggles. Parties and opposition political groups opposed to the draft Notre Dame-des-Landes airport, such as EELV or the Left Party are also represented.
“The project can always come back”
The construction of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes Airport by the company,Vinci which should have been completed in 2017, has been frozen since 2012 due to strong opposition both on the ground, and due to legal issues and political plans.
The government announced on February 28, through Jean-Marc Ayrault, who was then Prime Minister, that the work of the airport was expected to start the end of legal proceedings.
“We are here to show our determination, as long as we do not have an official signature of the government adopting the declaration of public utility, the project can always come back,” said Julien Durand, the spokesman for ACIPA, main opposition group and organizer of the rally,speaking to AFP (Associated French Press).
Notre-Dame-des-Landes : des milliers de personnes pour dire non à l’aéroport
Des milliers de personnes sont attendues ce week-end sur le site contesté du futur aéroport nantais à Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique). Parmi eux, des élus, dont l’écologiste Cécile Duflot (à gauche).
Les opposants à Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) ne désarment pas. Ce samedi, plusieurs milliers de personnes, qui réclament l’abandon du projet de transfert de l’aéroport Nantes Atlantique, ont répondu à l’appel des organisateurs du festival «L’abandon c’est maintenant !» organisé par les opposants au projet.
En fin d’après-midi, en dépit de la pluie, quelque 7 à 8 000 personnes étaient arrivées sur place selon les organisateurs, plus de 4 000 selon la police, juste avant les concerts des têtes d’affiche de ce premier jour du rassemblement, Miossec, Sanseverino et Pigalle.
Cécile Duflot by surprise guest
Opposing the project are politicians of the party, as MEP José Bové EELV. “We are at a turning point in the struggle of Notre-Dame-des-Landes: it is clear that today the state is beginning to understand that this project will not succeed,” he says. The former Minister Cécile Duflot arrived in the middle of the afternoon. “We need to stop the kind of pressure that puts on people who live and work here and who for so many years have been living with the sword of Damocles over their heads; it has to stop now, “says a member of EELV (Europe Ecology Les Verts).
“We are here to show our determination,”
In booths set up all around the capitals of various militant anti-capitalist and anti-globalization struggles, as opposed to “the farm thousand cows” in the Somme, or No-Tav (not TGV Lyon-Turin), present their struggle. Artists also came to militants. “I’m kind of a citizen who wants to ecology and who want a friendly environment, I have no desire there is an airport here,” says Sanseverino by balance of his concert in the rain. “We are here to show our determination,” said Julien Durand, a spokesman for the ACIPA, main opposition group and organizer of the rally.
Last year, at the height of the summer rally, held on 3 and 4 August, between 9000 and 25000 people attended the event, according to the respective numbers of the organizers and the prefecture of Loire Atlantic.
Works on standby since 2012
According to the original schedule, the work of the airport tarmac, the concession was awarded to Vinci group, have been started in spring 2014 and the airport should be opened in 2017. But with strong opposition both on the ground that the legal and political, construction has been frozen since 2012. latest episode mark of protest, the demonstration of 22 February 2014 which was attended by between 20 000 and 50 000 people opposed to the project in streets of Nantes. This event was punctuated by intense clashes between anti-capitalist activists with radical forces. Dozens of people were injured on the side of police and three protesters have lost the use of one eye . The damage had been estimated at one million euros. In the aftermath, the government announced on February 28, by the voice of Jean-Marc Ayrault, then Prime Minister, that the work expect the end of legal proceedings initiated to start .
A Notre-Dame-des-Landes, la mobilisation reste intacte et la décision incertaine
Par Rémi BarrouxUn festival de musique a été organisé à Notre Dame des Landes, le 5 juillet.
Se fera-t-il, ne se fera-t-il pas ? La question restait entière pour la grande majorité des participants au rassemblement à Notre-Dame-des-Landes contre le projet d’aéroport qui doit être construit à une vingtaine kilomètres au nord de Nantes.Samedi 5 et dimanche 6 juillet, des milliers d’opposants – plus d’une dizaine de milliers selon les organisateurs, moitié moins selon la police – à ce projet porté par le gouvernement, la région Pays de la Loire et la municipalité nantaise se sont retrouvées pour dire non à la plate-forme aéroportuaire, dont Aéroports du Grand Ouest (AGO), filiale de Vinci, doit assurer la construction et la gestion.Deux jours de concerts (avec notamment Miossec, Sanseverino, Pigalle…) et de déclarations contre l’aéroport, mais aussi contre la future ligne ferroviaire Lyon-Turin et d’autres infrastructures jugées « inutiles et coûteuses ». Dans la foule militante, des écologistes, des anticapitalistes, des agriculteurs, des opposants de la première heure au projet vieux de quarante ans et une ancienne ministre du gouvernement de Jean-Marc Ayrault, ardent défenseur de la construction de l’aéroport : Cécile Duflot.
Notre-Dame-des-Landes anti-system Zadistes invite themselves into the debate
Some anti-system zadistes invited themselve into the meeting of political anti-airports which began there half an hour earlier, in under the big tent, because of the rain.
“Democracy is the shit”, “Stop all work”, they regularly interrupted speakers and wanted toget their points across though organizers obviously did not want to give them the floor.
One of them has even asked to leave the tent. Which they did not do.
For several months, relations have been strained between historical opponents of the airport, and some of zadistes who are occupying part of the land.
A huge gathering is taking place this weekend, at Notre Dame des Landes, in western France, against the planned airport at Nantes. This airport has been proposed for years, to replace the existing Nantes airport. It has been bitterly and fiercely opposed, not only by those whose land and farms will be expropriated by the plans, and other local people who do not want their area and their countryside destroyed. It is also opposed by thousands of people from across France. This weekend is now becoming a regular annual protest, each summer. Between 20,000 and 30,000 people are expected for a huge festival, with music, poetry, speeches, fun and food sharing. Caravans of supporters have been making their way to Notre Dame des Landes, on foot and bike (as well as by car) for several weeks, some walking huge distances. The airport planning is bogged down in legal challenges and legal details. Though work was expected to start this spring, nothing has happened. This airport project is one of a number of Grands Projets Inutiles Imposés which are being fought not only in France, but in other European countries.
The festive weekend and activist began a march with participants from all over France
On foot, by bike or car, they came from all over France. Opposed to the waste of land and what they call unnecessary and imposed major projects, these activists converged on Friday by late afternoon, at Notre-Dame-des-Landes.
The retired farmer Michel Tarin, a figurehead of the anti-airport movement, led a three-kilometer walk in the bocage. As farmers of Larzac did in 1978, participants were provided with walking sticks, and these resonated rhythmically as people walked down the small roads towards the gathering..
All weekend takes place at Notre-Dame-des-Landes activist and festive gathering around the slogan “abandonment, it is now!” Supporters of anti-airport movement, Miossec, Sanseverino, or Pigalle must occur Saturday on the big stage. Sunday, we will hear Filoche and Heads Straight.The morning meeting will bring together twelve political stakeholders, including MEP José Bové.
Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport: thousands of opponents expected this weekend
AIRPORT – Opponents organize their large traditional festive weekend Saturday and Sunday at the site of the future airport of Nantes. Program debates, concerts, political speeches.
Last year, the gathering drew 9-25 of 000.Photo: Jean-Sebastien Evrard / AFP
“Notre-Dame-des-Landes: abandonment, it is now!” This is the slogan adopted by opponents for the big festive weekend held Saturday and Sunday at the site of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. The summer appointment, now held every year to demand the abandonment of the airport project, has become a tradition. the program , discussions, information and exhibitions, conferences, political speeches and stands in a relaxed and symbolic hundreds of balloons, lanterns and kites will thus released into the sky. Bands and artists are also show their support through concerts.
[Le rendez-vous estival, organisé maintenant tous les ans pour réclamer l’abandon du projet d’aéroport, est devenu une tradition. Au programme , débats, stands d’informations et expositions, conférences, et discours politiques, dans une ambiance détendue et symbolique : des centaines de ballons, lampions et cerfs-volants seront ainsi lâchés dans le ciel. Des groupes et artistes viennent aussi afficher leur soutien à travers des concerts.]
Rally turned to the “useless projects”
Thousands of people from all over France, are expected. Last year, the gathering was held on August 3 and 4 between 9 000 and 25 000 people had attended the event. This new collection is also used to address “other unnecessary projects, whether small, medium or large,” said Dominique Fresneau spokesman of ACIPA, leading association of opponents. The airport project is, for the moment, on stand-by. Indeed, on February 28, Jean-Marc Ayrault, then Prime Minister, announced that the work of the airport has to wait to start, until the end of legal proceedings that are under way.
[Un rassemblement tourné vers les “projets inutiles” Plusieurs milliers de personnes, venues de toute la France, sont attendues. Ce nouveau rassemblement doit aussi permettre d’aborder “les autres projets inutiles, qu’ils soient petits, moyens ou grands”, a précisé Dominique Fresneau, porte-parole de l’Acipa, principale association d’opposants. Le projet, pour l’instant, est en stand-by. En effet, le 28 février, Jean-Marc Ayrault, alors Premier ministre, avait annoncé que les travaux de l’aéroport attendraient la fin des recours juridiques engagés pour démarrer.]
The project standby
According to the original schedule, the work of the airport tarmac, the concession was awarded to Vinci group, should have been started in the spring. But the aborted removal of the airport’s opponents in autumn 2012, reinforced by a strong legal challenge to each bit of advance of the project, froze any progress. The last episode of this challenge was marked by the demonstration of 22 February which was attended by between 20,000 and 50,000 opponents in the streets of Nantes . The parade was peppered with intense fighting radical anticapitalist activists with police. Final assessment: dozens injured both on the side of police and of the demonstrators, three of which have lost the use of one eye, and one million euros of damage.
[Le projet en stand-by Selon le calendrier initial, les travaux du tarmac de l’aéroport, dont la concession a été attribuée au groupe Vinci, auraient dû démarrer au printemps. Mais l’expulsion avortée des opposants à l’automne 2012, renforcée par une intense contestation juridique de chacune des avancées du projet, a gelé toute avancée. Le dernier épisode marquant de cette contestation a été la manifestation du 22 février dernier qui a rassemblé entre 20 000 et 50 000 opposants dans les rues de Nantes. Bilan final: plusieurs dizaines de blessés du côté des forces de l’ordre et du côté des manifestants, dont trois ont perdu l’usage d’un oeil, et un million d’euros de dégâts.]
Opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes emerge from hibernation
4.7.2014 (Le Parisian)
by Florian LITZLER
[Apologies for very ropey English translation ….)
All hands to battle for the opposition to an airport. 30,000 people are expected Saturday and Sunday, on the site of the future – and contested – Airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes (Loire-Atlantique), at the festival “Abandonment is right now! “Organized by opponents of the project.
[30 000 personnes sont attendues samedi et dimanche, sur le site du futur – et contesté – aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, près de Nantes (Loire-Atlantique), à l’occasion du festival « L’abandon c’est maintenant!]
On site, they still occupy the “Zone à Défendre” (ZAD) without which the authorities cannot move. “This is the status quo,” says Dominique Fresneau ,president of ACIPA, an association of opponents, “there is a moratorium until the end of legal proceedings, we look while supporting several projects on the ZAD ” 76 use officially registered.
[« C’est le statu quo » explique Dominique Fresneau, président de l’Acipa, une association d’opposants, « il y a un moratoire jusqu’à la fin des procédures judiciaires, nous attendons tout en faisant vivre plusieurs projets sur la ZAD » 76 recours officiellement déposés]
It was decided by the Prime Minister of the day in February, signs of abating while numerous appeals against the airport had been filed in court .
There are currently 76. Until they are all treated, which will take several months, the authorities have not trigger work … that should have been launched last spring
while the airport was supposed to open in October 2017. “lead us Redo actions on the ground to a communication that is not desired,” says soberly prefecture of Loire-Atlantique.
[On en compte actuellement 76. Jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient tous traités, ce qui prendra plusieurs mois, les autorités comptent ne pas déclencher les travaux… qui auraient dû être lancés au printemps dernier tandis que l’aéroport était censé ouvrir en octobre 2017. « Relancer des actions sur le terrain nous entraînerait vers une communication qui n’est pas souhaitée », explique sobrement la préfecture de Loire-Atlantique.]
who argue that renovating the existing airport would save € 349 million, are all elements that Dominique Fresneau see play for the challenge. “We did not win, but they, they lost. It just takes the ghost of Jean-Marc Ayrault finish leaving Matignon.”
[L’État a choisi d’attendre, mais « si le projet est validé par la justice, continuer à s’y opposer reviendra juste à de l’acharnement… » ajoute-t-on. Le spectre d’un redémarrage des travaux Le départ de Jean-Marc Ayrault , la sortie de Manuel Valls – qui avait proposé à la ministre écologiste Cécile Duflot d’abandonner le projet si elle restait au gouvernement – l’ étude de deux architectes publiée fin juin pour le collectif d’opposant CéDpa qui argue que rénover l’aéroport déjà existant ferait économiser 349 millions d’euros, sont autant d’éléments que Dominique Fresneau voit jouer en faveur de la contestation. « Nous n’avons pas gagné, mais eux, ils ont perdu.]
“But others, yet also opposed to the project, are more cautious. As Françoise Verchère, General Counsel of Loire-Atlantique, a member of CEDPA: “I do not read in the coffee. Justice can give us wrong. In this case, the authorities may well say “Enough Iroquois and thugs” and force the start of work. ” No authorization submitted to the prefecture Until this event, the ZAD will vibrate to the sound of concerts this weekend for the festival. No application for permission has also been made to the authorities.”And why do authorization? This place, these fields, these farms, it is considered that this is our home! “Retorted Dominique Fresneau. At the Prefecture, they close their eyes, “We’re not supposed to know that something will happen … But we will be attentive to security conditions”.
[A la Préfecture, on ferme les yeux « Nous ne sommes pas censés savoir qu’il va se passer quelque chose… Mais nous serons attentifs aux conditions de sécurité ».]
Thousands across France will converge on Nantes for 5/6th July – many marching with walking stick relay
June 4, 2014
Over the weekend of 5th and 6th July , there will be another massive mobilisation at Notre Dame des Landes, against the planned new airport – to replace the existing Nantes airport. Thousands will attend from across France. There are around 200 support committees across the country, working to oppose the airport. Now there will be “convergences” from across France, where people are already setting out to walk to the protest. Others will travel, by bike, and many also by vehicle – having attended protest rallies in the areas from where they start. The chosen symbol for these marches, or “caravans” will be their walking sticks. Remembering the civil protests in the 1970s against a military camp at Larzac, those walking will bring with them a walking stick (engraved with their name, and the region from which they come), and the rhythmic noise of these clacking on the tarmac will be, as with the Larzac march to Paris in 1978, the sound signature of this part of the protest. Those who cannot complete the whole march will pass on their walking sticks as a relay, so they arrive at Notre Dame des Landes.
The threat of a 2nd Gatwick runway, and the “trials” of new flight paths by Gatwick airport, has caused considerable upset in areas across southern Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent. The flight path routed over the Warnham area (Warnham, Rusper, Kingsfold, Winterfold, Rowhook, Slinfold and North Horsham) set in motion the formation of CAGNE – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions – to fight against the unwelcome noise intrusion into the lives of thousands. CAGNE has now grown, as more and more people upset by the flight paths – and the threat of more – join forces. There are now two other groups, working in East Sussex and in Kent, as well as the original CAGNE in Warnham, West Sussex. A group of residents, formerly the Bidborough Environmental Action Group, are becoming CAGNE East opposing planes, flying day and night – an aircraft “superhighway” – over historic areas of the High Weald ANOB, most of Tunbridge Wells and Southborough, Bidborough, Rusthall, Penshurst, Chiddingstone and Hever. CAGNE East strongly supports the High Weald Parish Councils HWPCAAG initiative, opposing Gatwick’s bid for a 2nd runway.
30.6.2014 (CAGNE – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions – in the Gartwick area)
Image of GACC Jane Vogt with Simon Byerley and Kealey Castle of CAGNE EAST, Sally Pavey and Bill Sorrell of CAGNE
CAGNE – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions – has joined forces with the Kent protest group against Gatwick Airport’s new runway.
A group of residents, formerly the Bidborough Environmental Action Group, will become CAGNE East in an effort to stop new flight paths, The Gatwick Superhighwayof planes will fly day and night over historic areas of the High Weald AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), most of Tunbridge Wells and Southborough, Bidborough, Rusthall, Penshurst, Chiddingstone and Hever..
‘Gatwick Airport plan to place a constant stream of low flying planes over historic sites and many homes that have not suffered aircraft noise before, and this is all before a second runway which would bring additional damage to these areas,’ said Simon Byerleyof CAGNE East.
‘By working together we aim to raise community awareness of what is planned by Gatwick Airport, not only through the current changes to flight paths, but how a new runway will alter the Home Counties forever,’ said Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE.
CAGNE was formed this year by concerned residents after a trial route was instigated by Gatwick Airport over areas of West Sussex not previously overflown, affecting residents in Warnham, Rusper, Kingsfold, Winterfold, Rowhook, Slinfold and North Horsham.
CAGNE East strongly supports the HWPCAAG initiative, the alliance of the parish Councils across East Sussex and West Kent who oppose Gatwick’s bid for a second runway. Both CAGNE and CAGNE East are also working very closely with Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, a volunteer group that has opposed Gatwick expansion since 1968.
‘GACC is continuing to lead the battle to protect the environment around Gatwick, opposing the outrageous plans of Gatwick Airport for new flight paths and a second runway. We are delighted to have two new protest groups from the West and East working with us as members of GACC but bringing new strength to the battle in their own areas,’ said GACC Chair Brendon Sewill.
GACC is the long-standing community campaign at Gatwick airport, and has been active for some 5 decades. It is principle group in the area, with long experience and an immense amount of expertise and experience. The other groups below are all members of GACC. They all work closely with GACC.
Enquiries: Brendon Sewill (Chairman); Peter Barclay and John Byng (Vice-Chairmen)
CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)
[The group has emerged from BEAG – the Bidborough Environment Action Group].
CAGNE East is the sister group of CAGNE. CAGNE East is for all residents and local communities East of Gatwick Airport. Set up by concerned residents of Bidborough in Kent, it provides campaign support to a growing network of residents, communities, campaign groups, Parish Councils and NGOs who are all concerned about Gatwick expansion.
CAGNE East opposes a 2nd Gatwick runway, night flights and the proposed new ‘superhighway flightpaths’, which unchallenged, pose a grave threat to our way of life and our regional economy.
(The beagblog will continue to focus on aviation as well as other local environmental issues, and in the next month or so, (August 2014 perhaps) a new blog devoted entirely to aviation issues will be set up. Sadly these things have to be done, (in contrast to Gatwick airport with its massive budget and large number of staff) by volunteers, in their own time, fitted around work, family and other commitments. So, as they say ….. “Bear with ….” ! )
Enquiries – Simon Byerley and Kealey Castle
ESCCAN (East Susses Communities for Control of Air Noise).
There is also now a very active residents group in Crowborough, called ESCCAN They want to keep a local focus for their concerns in the Crowborough area, and the protection of the Ashdown Forest.
WAGAN (Weald Action Group Against Noise)
There is another local group, WAGANwhich is working very closely in support of HWAAG (High Weald Aviation Action Group). These groups are also working on blogs, and as with the case of CAGNE East, this depends on volunteers managing to fit in this work, unpaid, in already busy lives.
This has been formed to fight increasing noise and to oppose Gatwick’s bid for a 2nd runway. The group consists of eight parishes in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which are all adversely affected by Gatwick aircraft noise. The group consists of the Parish Councils of Chiddingstone, Hever, Leigh and Penshurst and 4 other parishes. Their chair is Richard Streatfield, who is the Chairman of Chiddingstone Parish Council. Email: email@example.com
CAGNE East and the BEAG (Bidborough Environment Action Group)
BEAG was originally intended as a very local and general environmental interest group. However, with more and more planes flying overhead and with more and more people joining from all over the area – Southborough, Tonbridge, Langton Green Rusthall, central Tunbridge Wells – and most of whom only really wanting to know about the planes, it became increasingly apparent that the Bidborough group was misnamed: there was a real need for a contact point where people concerned about increasing noise and pollution levels from planes over West Kent could find out more about how Gatwick’s plans translate into the changes we are noticing in our local environment.
Core members of BEAG formed a more active team focussed on the Gatwick issue, and when the lead members of BEAG, Simon Byerley and Kealey Castle, met Sally Pavey things just clicked into place.
BEAG were impressed by the unique fusion of creativity, passion and professionalism in Sally’s approach and found, despite some very fundamental differences between the noise problems faced by residents under departures vs arrivals, that they shared some key objectives. This aviation issue is a David and Goliath situation – it seemed that joining with the CAGNE movement would best serve the interests of residents in Kent, in the greater scheme of things.
The beagblog is to continue with its more general focus (gradual switch likely to the fracking debate – we have a bore hole in Bidborough that will go active next year.)
Simon Byerley is getting the CAGNE East blog up and running but unfortunately he has a full time job, and as all volunteer activity, this has to be fitted into an already full life.
The beagblog is a temporary contact point for the aircraft flight paths issue. A new, more informative CAGNE East site specifically for the aviation issue is planned. It should be up and running by August (fingers crossed!)
Kent parish councils fight Gatwick Airport runway plan
26 June 2014 (BBC)
The parish councils said an expanded Gatwick would threaten both local tourism and the environment
Campaigners fighting a second runway at Gatwick are writing to the Airports Commission to object to the level of noise an expansion could cause.
Four Kent parish councils claim an additional runway would also damage local tourism and the environment.
Mitzi Quirk, from Chiddingstone Parish Council, said the village currently saw 10 planes per 20 minutes but expansion would take that to 45 an hour.
Gatwick Airport said building a new runway was in the local interest.
Ms Quirk said: “We are concerned not just with the future, but with the current situation. So we’ve grouped together to make a more powerful body with other parish councils who are going to be affected and who are affected currently.
“Currently we must have something like 10 planes in 20 minutes. I think what their projection is 45 planes an hour.
“And if they currently come in at the height they do, it will be really very difficult to live with and it will affect a lot of people. And I don’t think anybody’s sanity could stand that, quite frankly.”
David Barren, who lives in Hever, said the village used to be tranquil but now the noise had become “totally intolerable”.
Richard Streatfield, chairman of the High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group, which covers Chiddingstone, Hever, Leigh and Penshurst councils, said he had seen Gatwick expand “vigorously” from what was a local airport and under the plans it would more than double in size.
He claimed tourism businesses in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty brought about 186,000 jobs to the industry and created £1.6bn over a year, which would be threatened by Gatwick expansion because of the impact on the environment and because tourists would not want to visit.
But Gatwick argue a second runway would create thousands of jobs, offer new opportunities to businesses and promote economic growth and prosperity across the region.
“Gatwick is continuously working to reduce the noise levels at the airport, including designing flight paths that avoid the majority of populated areas and providing the most innovative noise insulation scheme in Europe,” it said in a statement.
“Should Gatwick build a second runway, we will also pay annual compensation equivalent to Band A Council Tax (currently £1,000) to all households most affected.”
On 6th February this year, Melchior Wathelet (Belgium’s secretary of state in charge of Environment, Energy and Mobility) introduced a plan that reorganizes the departure routes from Brussels airport in Zaventem. As a result of this “Wathelet Plan”, the majority of departing aircraft are routed over densely populated areas of central and southern Brussels. The changes are deeply controversial and deeply unpopular among the Brussels residents, who have not been intensively over-flown before. There is huge anger about the changes, and that the numbers over-flown are now far higher than before. On the plus side, some areas that were previously over-flown now have fewer flights. Now almost 18,000 residents have signed a petition to suspend the Wathelet Plan. Its opponents say it was introduced without any prior consultation with local residents, and that in other EU countries, such a consultation process is a regulatory requirement before any change to aircraft flight paths is made. An active group called “Pas Question!” – which means “No Way!” has formed, and they regard the new flight paths as nonsensical. They want the plan cancelled, and are convinced that an alternative policy is possible.
The Pas Question! group is a movement of Brussels citizens, who say they are indignant about the Wathelet Plan, that they feel has been inflicted on them.
They say they are ordinary citizens, but they have discovered overnight, that their families were now over-flown daily by planes at a low altitude.
They now find the new dispersed flight path plan was adopted by the Federal Government, without consultation, despite its enduring damages to Brussels
The regard this Plan as not offering any long-term solution but instead transferred the problem of aircraft noisecloser to the heart of Brussels.
They are determined that Brussels citizens and inhabitants must combat this nonsensical plan with all their efforts and with all means at their disposal. They are convinced that an alternative policy is possible.
These are their Objectives
The immediate repeal of Plan Wathelet
This Plan is an absurdity , ignoring self-evident public health and safety precautions;We demand its immediate repeal!
A real democratic debate
We demand a consultation of all concerned parties, to be part of those decisions directly impacting our quality of life and the future of Brussels.
Sustainable long-term solutions
The health and security of hundred of thousands citizens has been plainly ignored. Our politicians must consider and adopt long-term solutions to the ill-located Brussels Airport.
On 6 February 2014 Melchior Wathelet– in his function as Belgium’s secretary of state in charge of Environment, Energy and Mobility – implemented a plan that reorganizes the departure routes from Brussels National Airport in Zaventem.
As a result of this plan, the majority of departing aircraft are routed over densely populated areas of Brussels. This plan – referred to by campaigners as the Plan Wathelet [Wathelet Plan] – soon became the object of controversy and led to a wave of complaints by residents affected by aircraft noise.
As of 1 May 2014, more than 13,000 residents had signed a petition to suspend the Plan Wathelet. [It now has over 17,700 signatures – 20.6.2014].
A revision of the plan was blocked by the government of Flanders in early May.
The main criticisms of the Wathelet Plan are that opponents say it was introduced without any prior consultation with local residents.
They say that in other European Countries, such a consultation process is a regulatory requirement before any change to aircraft flight paths is made (consultation is required in the UK, by the CAA).
Opponents also claim that no impact assessment was carried out prior to the publication of the new departure routes. They say the flight paths should over-fly less densely populated areas, and avoid heavily populated areas.
There is some dispute between different areas, and communities, of Brussels about how many residents are being over-flown – and affected by high levels of aircraft noise. There have been different figures produced by Mr Wathelet and by the Brussels minister for Environment Evelyne Huytebroeck.
“Pas Question!” [which means “No Way”] – the campaign against the flight path changes
The opponents of the changes argue that the new flight paths must be removed, as the number of people now over-flown is not acceptable. They say on their campaign website http://www.pasquestion.be/en/wathelet-plan
The Wathelet Plan: A SHORT SUMMARY
Since February 6 2014, The Wathelet Plan has modified certain flight paths from Brussels national airport:
On one hand, the “left turn” flight path from [Brussels airport at] Zaventem has been enlarged. As a consequence, 35.000 planes now fly at low altitude over densely populated areas like SCHAERBEEK, ETTERBEEK, IXELLES, WOLUWE-Chant d’oiseau, AUDERGHEM and WATERMAEL-BOISTFORT
On the other hand, the so-called “route du canal” flight path goes over Brussels from one side to another, and is used by thousands of the heaviest carriers and night take-offs. This entails a strong and brutal deterioration of the quality of life in MOLENBEEK, BRUXELLES-VILLE, ANDERLECHT, FOREST, SAINT-GILLES et UCCLE.
All of this, in the name of a “fair” distribution of disturbances. In reality this plan saves certain neighbourhoods located east of the airport (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre/Stockel, Wezembeek et Kraainem) and move them over a capital city of 1.100.000 inhabitants !
This plan is absurd and must be immediately withdrawn.
On the map below, the new flight paths are shown with some going across the centre of Brussels and the south of the city. Before the changes, flights were concentrated to the east and south east, with some to the north. There were none across central and southern Brussels.
The Wathelet Plan which has been fully implemented on February 6th 2014 reorganizes flight paths from Zaventem airport and is composed of 3 main measures::
1. The use of the runway 19/01 is significantly reduced
Since ten years (the Anciaux Plan) WOLUWE-SAINT-PIERRE (Stockel), KRAAINEM and WEZEMBEEK areas located east of the airport are being impacted by planes at low altitude with approximately 7.000 takeoffs per year and 12.000 landing per year on the runway 19/01 (2012 traffic).
This situation had an undeniable impact on citizens living in these areas. The Wathelet Plan deliberately modifies the norms of wind used on this runway with the aim to reduce the use of this runway by 50 to 75%. This change has for consequence the intensive use of runway 25R where planes take off in the direction of Brussels city, inreasing nuisances for nearly all Brussels inhabitants. Furthermore these changes were heavily criticised by the pilots and air traffic-controllers.
2. Enlargement of the left turn
Before February 6, 44.000 planes per year were taking off from Zaventem on runway 25R which is facing Brussels, but planes used to take a sharp left turn in direction of Huldenberg avoiding flying over most of Brussels except areas such as WOLUWE-SAINT-LAMBERT, WOLUWE-SAINT-PIERRE (Stockel), KRAAINEM et WEZEMBEEK.
With the Wathelet Plan, 80% of these flights (35.000 planes per year) are redirected over other flight paths which go deeper into the Brussels region and fly over densely populated areas which were spared before. Areas such as SCHAERBEEK, ETTERBEEK, IXELLES, WOLUWE-SAINT-PIERRE (CHANT D’OISEAU), AUDERGHEM et WATERMAEL-BOITSFORT are now badly impacted with a high frequency of planes flying at a low altitude!
Out of the blue, citizens living in areas known for not being flew over by planes, find themselves in a situation with flights over their head from 6am until 11pm characterized by a dense traffic early the morning and late at night with an unavoidable increase of traffic during the summer (charter flights, low cost companies).
The remaining 20% (9.000 planes per year) are still on the northern part of the older flight way, avoiding areas which used to be impacted.
3. Heavy traffic concentrated on the « canal way or route du canal »
THE WATHELET PLAN also regroups many old flight paths on the so-called « route du canal » which respectively go over MOLENBEEK, EVERE, BRUXELLES-VILLE, ANDERLECHT, FOREST, SAINT-GILLES, UCCLE, DROGENBOS and LINKEBEEK.
Because of the Wathelet Plan, this path is also used for the heavy carrier flights (747, A330, etc …) which cause more noise pollution and fly at night and during week-ends. Citizens who used to live in areas known as being moderately impacted by planes are now flown over intensively by heavy carriers and at the worse time of the day or at night.
They list all the areas of Brussels, and which have gained – and which have lost – in terms of peace and quiet, and consequently quality of life, since the flight path changes. They also give the population density of the suburbs now adversely affected, showing them to have higher densities than the areas which now have less over-flying.
The Pas Question! group also say:
WATHELET PLAN: An Nonsensical SOLUTION !
Worldwide, flight paths are deviated away from city centres for obvious reasons: to limit consequences in case of accident, and to protect from air / noise pollution, stress and other health hazards, populations already affected by urban nuisances (pollution from traffic, lack of green spaces, etc.)
Brussels International airport is ill-located, for historical reasons. The proximity of the airport has forever caused nuisances to the populations living nearby.
The very idea of solving airport neighbours’ problem by spreading flights Brussels’ city center is most absurd.
Politicians, who made airport neighbours believe that the Wathelet Plan was the solution to their nuisances problem, must be either irresponsible or incompetent.
Another study by the Brussels Region government points out that 244,543 people are newly affected by aircraft noise nuisance (63% of people affected by aircraft nuisance); 113,505 people see their situation unchanged (29.3% of dwellers affected by aircraft noise nuisance); 29,679 see their situation marginally improve (7,65% of people affected by aircraft nuisance) and 1,165 Brussels residents are no longer under a flight path.
Convoluted Brussels coalition and flightpath politics cause public furore
June 25, 2014
Thousands of people in Brussels are up in arms about a new overflight plan that started on 6th February, causing parts of the city subject to the thundering noise of planes using Brussels airport. The Belgian government has only a couple of weeks left to find a solution for a problem that dates back many, many years. As the airport is close to densely populated parts of the city, its flight paths would always over-fly a lot of people. The political choices of who should have to suffer the noise are complicated. Should the burden of the noise be shared between various areas? The flight path change is reported to be because, with the May elections this year, Melchior Wathelet (Sec of State for Environment, Energy, Mobility etc) of the Francophone Christian Democtrats (cdH) decided to do a political favour for the party’s vice prime minister, Joelle Milquet, by tweaking the flight paths over some municipalities, to help with votes. The Wathelet Plan decision can be blocked, under the constitution, for 60 days. That ends at the start of July. It is likely to be the out-going coalition that makes the decision. Lots of politics ….. parties will assess how the vote affects their political chances ….
A new study by the Brussels Region shows that the number of Brussels residents affected by noise exploded. The Brussels Region will sue for environmental cessation before the trial court to stop the Wathelet Plan.
Melchior Wathelet is not the end of his sentences. A new study by the Brussels Region shows that the number of Brussels residents affected by aircraft noise has greatly increased. This is due to the dispersion of aircraft taking off from Brussels Zaventem airport established by Melchior Wathelet (CDH), Secretary of State at the Federal.
Faced with this situation, the Brussels Region will sue for environmental cessation before the trial court to stop the Wathelet Plan.
The Environmental Action cessation seeks, initially the suspension of the plan for non-compliance with Brussels noise legislation, the Gosuin stopped from 1999 imposing increasingly stringent thresholds, more planes move away from the airport;and lack of assessment of environmental impacts of the plan, contrary to advocate European rules.
State Secretary for Mobility, Melchior Wathelet, has announced its evening he would come up with solutions in the coming days to aircraft noise experienced by the people of Brussels.
What does the study say?
Presented on Monday evening by the Minister Evelyne Huytebroek (Ecolo), Minister of the Environment in the Brussels Region, the number of Brussels residents affected by aircraft noise has exploded.
In reaching this conclusion, Evelyne Huytebroeck (Ecolo) asked his administration to increase the sound level on the area of the capital and to make accurate measurements of the level of aircraft noise, so you can quickly prepare a report on the noise nuisance to introduce where appropriate an action for environmental injunction. The points of comparison are March 2013 compared with March 2014.
The studywasconductedbyBrusselsenvironmentusingthenewsound level metersof theCapitalRegionplacedunderthe flight paths, and a tenth in theaths andplacedtenthinthe neighbourhoodof la Chasse, à Etterbeek.
Brusselsenvironmentalsoobservedanexplosionofthenumberof complaints of residentss:1056betweenFebruary6andApril16,againstonlyninefor thesameperiodin2013.
“Le Plan Wathelet a dégradé la situation des Bruxellois”
Une nouvelle étude menée par la Région bruxelloise montre que le nombre de Bruxellois touchés par les nuisances sonores a explosé. La Région bruxelloise va intenter une action en cessation environnementale devant le tribunal de première instance pour faire stopper le Plan Wathelet.
Melchior Wathelet n’est pas au bout de ses peines. Une nouvelle étude menée par la Région bruxelloise montre que le nombre de Bruxellois touchés par les nuisances sonores a explosé. En cause, le plan de dispersion des avions de l’aéroport de Zaventem mis en place par Melchior Wathelet (cdH), secrétaire d’état au Fédéral.
Face à cette situation, la Région bruxelloise va intenter une action en cessation environnementale devant le tribunal de première instance pour faire stopper le Plan Wathelet.
L’action en cessation environnementale vise à obtenir, dans un premier temps une suspension du plan, pour non-respect de la législation bruxelloise sur le bruit, l’arrêté Gosuin datant de 1999 imposant des seuils de plus en plus sévères, plus les avions s’éloignent de l’aéroport; et pour absence d’évaluation des incidences environnementales du plan, contrairement à ce que préconisent les règles européennes.
Le secrétaire d’Etat à la Mobilité, Melchior Wathelet, a de son côté annoncé en soirée qu’il viendrait dans les prochains jours avec des solutions aux nuisances sonores des avions que subissent les Bruxellois.
Que dit l’étude?
Présentée ce lundi soir par la ministre d’Evelyne Huytebroek (Ecolo), ministre de l’Environnement à la Région bruxelloise, le nombre de Bruxellois touchés par les nuisances sonores a explosé. Pour arriver à cette conclusion, Evelyne Huytebroeck (Ecolo) avait demandé à son administration de multiplier les sonomètres sur le territoire de la capitale et de procéder à des mesures serrées du niveau du bruit des avions, de façon à pouvoir très vite établir un rapport des nuisances pour le cas échéant introduire une action en cessation environnementale. Les points de comparaison sont mars2013 et mars 2014.
L’étude a été menée par Bruxelles Environnement à l’aide des neufs sonomètres de la Région-capitale placés sous les routes aériennes et d’un dixième placé dans le quartier de la Chasse, à Etterbeek. Bruxelles Environnement a par ailleurs observé une explosion du nombre de plaintes d’habitants: 1056 entre le 6 février et le 16 avril dernier, contre seulement neuf pour le même période en 2013.
Wathelet dans la tourmente: 8 Boeing survolent Bruxelles la nuit illégalement avec la permission du cabinet
Le cabinet Wathelet est à nouveau au coeur de la tourmente concernant le survol de Bruxelles. Selon le journal Le Soir, des Boeing 777-Aerologic peuvent survoler Bruxelles de nuit alors que c’est illégal, et le cabinet est au courant.
16 Juin 2014
Huit Boeing 777-Aerologic (une “joint-venture” appartenant à DHL et Lufthansa Cargo) ont la permission de survoler Bruxelles de nuit depuis cinq mois et ce, en infraction avec la législation européenne et les règles acoustiques de l’aéroport de Zaventem, rapporte lundi Le Soir.
Pas trop de bruit?
Ces avions-cargos ne disposent pas de certification acoustique officielle requise. Le cabinet Wathelet serait au courant depuis le début de l’entorse légale, d’après Le Soir. L’administration reconnaît les libertés prises avec la loi. “Le QC maximum (quota de bruit) de ces avions n’aurait pas dû leur permettre de voler de nuit, mais cette décision de la DGTA a permis de remplacer deux vols DHL de nuit par un seul vol du 777. On passe de 5 à 4 vols DHL par nuit, tout en respectant le quota de bruit par vol car le 777 n’est pas complètement chargé”, justifie Laurent Ledoux, président du SPF Mobilité. DHL n’a pas confirmé cette réduction de vols de nuit.
Wathelet in turmoil: 8 Boeing flying Brussels night illegally courtesy cabinet
The Wathelet cabinet is again at the heart of the turmoil on the over-flying of Brussels. According to the newspaper Le Soir, Boeing 777-Aerologic is being allowed to fly over Brussels at night, while it is illegal, and the firm is aware of this.
June 16, 2014
There is a short video on the story, but in French Link
Eight Boeing 777-Aerologic (a “joint venture” belonging to DHL and Lufthansa Cargo) are allowed to fly over Brussels at night for five months and, in breach of European legislation and noise rules of Brussels Zaventem airport, Le Soir reported on Monday.
Not too loud?
These freighters do not have the official noise certification required. The Wathelet cabinet would have know since the beginning of the legal tussle, according to Le Soir. The administration recognizes the liberties being taken with t he law. “The maximum QC (noise quota) of these aircraft would not have been allowed to fly at night, but this decision DGTA has replaced two flights DHL night by a single flight of 777. Were from 5 DHL 4 flights per night, while respecting the noise quota per flight for the 777 is not fully charged “justifies Laurent Ledoux, President of the FPS Mobility. DHL has not confirmed this reduction of night flights.
Protest in Brussels as new flight paths over-fly new areas, giving some respite to those previously heavily over-flown
8.4.2014.In Brussels there has, for a long time, been a problem because of the division between the French speaking south of the city, and the Flemish speaking north. The airport is to the north east of the city, and traditionally the people living to the north have complained bitterly that they have had a disproportionate number of flights, while many affluent areas to the south have had no over-flying. From the 6th February the government has brought in new flight paths, which disperse take-offs towards the west, so more fly over the areas to the south of the city. Flights start at 6am and continue to 11pm, though the new routes are meant to not be used for Saturday evening and during Sunday, if there isn’t a strong westerly wind. There has been huge protest in Brussels about this change, with furious citizens incensed that their peace, and their quality of life has been reduced. The changes have brought some relief to the other areas which previously took more than their fair share of the noise. Petitions and protests have been set up, and it is uncertain what will happen next. The situation is complicated by Belgian politics, and the separate interests of Flemish and Walloon sections of society.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=20890….
The 4th runway at Frankfurt airport was opened in October 2011. The flightpaths for this runway overfly thousands of residents in the Frankfurt, many of whom had not previously been overflown. They suddenly found the noise of aircraft overhead every few minutes, relentlessly (day after day, week after week) for most of the day intolerable. Other areas were also affected by changes to flight paths. Ever since the opening, the people of Frankfurt have absolutely refused to accept this, and have campaigned continuously and relentlessly. They hold unique and remarkable protests, almost every Monday night, in the airport terminal. These are attended by well over 1,000 people, every time. On 19th May, the 100th airport terminal protest was held, with around 4,000 (maybe more) protesters. Some campaigners from the Heathrow and Gatwick campaigns went out (by train) to show solidarity and share this remarkable achievement with their German friends. John Stewart, Chair of HACAN and of AirportWatch, addressed the protest, saying they were making aviation history, and the tenacity, persistence and determination of the opposition to Frankfurt flights is increasingly a matter of concern to the aviation industry.
Below are some photos of the protest, and links to videos.
YouTube film : This is a video of part of the 2 hour protest, with the speeches. All in German, except John Stewart’s 2 minute address. Mention of the British visitors to the protest is at about 10 minutes in, and John’s speech at about 11 – 13 minutes in. http://youtu.be/LVOh_3E3bBw
Also another Link to a video on the occasion of the 100th Monday Demonstration against aircraft noise at Frankfurt Airport http://youtu.be/JTYWrjQHSJ4
This is the Frankfurt theme song
The song the which the protesters sing – loudly – at their Monday evening airport terminal invasions. With a very catchy chorus “Unsere Forderung wird immer lauter Die Landebahn muss weg” means “Our challenge is getting louder. The Runway Must Go”.
John Byng and Sally Pavey, from Gatwick, wishing they had bought earplugs against the din. Most of the Frankfurt participants, (banging drums, tooting whistles, blowing horns, singing ….) take the precaution of the earplugs. The protests aim to attack noise with noise ….
James and Sally displaying our t-shirts – supporting the Frankfurt protest.
John Byng from Gatwick with ladies objecting to the aircraft noise, with tambourines, balloons and wicked hats.
The Heathrow and Gatwick banner sets off – with a thousand or so others – on its not-so-sedate tour around the entire airport terminal complex, with drums, whistles, music and lively chanting of “Die Landebahn muss weg”, which means “The [Frankfurt ] runway must go.”
Tamsin and Sarah on their turn to take the banner as it joined in the procession around the airport
The German version of the t-shirts of the British visitors.
The English version of the t- shirts of the British visitors
Part of the crowd. Each of the areas affected by aircraft noise has its own placard, expressing their opposition to the noise. “Fluglarm” means aircraft noise. “Fluglarm macht krank” on a lot of the banners and placards, means “aircraft noise makes you ill.
These ordinary, peaceful, law abiding Germans feel sufficiently furious about the noise that they have kept up these protests for about two and a half years. Many, or most, have turned out almost every Monday – with this the 100th time. They have absolutely no intention of stopping either.
John Stewart addressing the protesters, after the presenter gave a warm welcome to the British and Dutch protesters, from Heathrow, Gatwick and Schiphol campaigns, who had come to join in the 100th protest. John said the Frankfurt protesters had made history by continuing to protest for so long. He added that the extent and the determination of the Frankfurt protests have bothered the aviation industry, especially as the opposition to the new runway and its flight paths shows no sign of diminishing.
A small section of the crowd, listening to the speeches. Generally a different area affected by noise help organise the weekly protests in turn, sharing the responsibility and work.
The strength of feeling about the hated aircraft noise is made plain by the sheer scale of the protests. This number of responsible, mild mannered citizens do not take up weekly protests unless they feel very strongly, and very passionately indeed, about the cause.
John Stewart with two of the singing air hostesses, who sang lively anti-runway songs.
Example of creative Frankfurt anti-runway head gear.
The UK group with German friends at the end of the 100th Frankfurt protest
After supper, with good German beer, and some German-English t-shirt swapping – Heathrow, Gatwick and Frankfurt campaigners …. celebrating the 100th protest.
Links to videos on the occasion of the 100th Monday Demonstration against aircraft noise at Frankfurt Airport: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cdk_XQmZiqs 2014-05-19 Frankfurt Airport: 100 Monday demonstration against the expansion, speeches I
Gatwick airport has produced a huge number of adverts, on bill boards, on underground stations, and on underground trains. The campaign must have cost a vast amount of money. The theme of the adverts has been “Gatwick Obviously” in their attempt to influence first the thinking of the Airports Commission, and then also the next Government – which will have to decide what to do with the Commission’s report after summer/autumn 2015. The Gatwick adverts have suffered from being subvertised, but on Monday 19th around 200 on the underground were replaced with substitutes – by Plane Stupid. The temptation must just have been too strong …. Earlier the ad canpaign had the misfortune to have plastered the walls of Bank and Westminster stations, on the two days of the tube strike in April.
This is one of the Gatwick adverts.
and here is another:
And here is another:
Below is one of the Plane Stupid substitutes that were put up across the underground, with a total of 200 of the adverts being changed over.
The Gatwick adverts have also been subvertised in various ways.
“Gatwick Obviously” poster subvertised into ” Gatwick Seriously?”
29.4.2014 “ A new runway at Gatwick could be ready by 2025, bringing huge economic benefits to its owners, while you get more traffic, more noise and a new town the size of Crawley. And they say it’s the obvious choice.” Spot the differences. (Box 4 refers to the only way, on the Gatwick consultation form, it is possible to express opposition to any of the airport’s runway schemes).
Protesters – from the villages of Harmondsworth and Longford (to be destroyed by Heathrow’s 3rd runway plan) played a protest football game on the green outside the Houses of Parliament. This was to highlight the “broken promises” of David Cameron over his “No ifs, no buts, no third runway” commitment to no expansion at Heathrow at the last election. The residents of the 2 villages feel they have been “kicked into the long grass” over new Heathrow expansion plans. The villagers travelled from west London too Westminster with Channel 5 TV cameras in tow, to set up their jumpers for goalposts on the green overlooked by Parliament. The team wore England shirts, with past quotes from senior politicians affirming cross-party opposition to a third runway emblazoned on their backs.The football organiser said “We will practice our kicking into the long grass, and our U-turns. The Conservative Government made promises that there would be no third runway before they were elected, and now it looks like they are going back on their word. If we can’t believe them on this issue, how can we believe them about anything?”
Anti-third runway campaigners put the boot in at Westminster
Protestors played a football game on the green outside the Houses of Parliament, to highlight the “broken promises” of David Cameron over his ‘no ifs, no buts’ commitment to no expansion at Heathrow
HEATHROW villagers who feel they have been “kicked into the long grass” over new Heathrow expansion plans had a protest football game outside the House of Commons.
The group travelled to Westminster this morning (Friday), with Channel 5 TV cameras in tow, to set up their jumpers for goalposts on the green overlooked by Parliament, and take a stand against the government’s changing stance on a third runway.
The team wore England shirts, with past quotes from senior politicians affirming cross-party opposition to a third runway emblazoned on their backs.
Amongst them is David Cameron’s now-infamous pledge in 2009 that a third runway would not go ahead, “no ifs, no buts.”
Two Heathrow expansion options – a third runway to the north west of the existing airport, over Harmondsworth and Longford, and the extension of the northern runway to the west – are being considered by the Airports Commission, set up by the government to assess and recommend the best way to increase hub airport capacity in the south east.
The Commission is due to advise on their preferred option next summer, after the general election.
A second runway at Gatwick is a third option on the table.
The protest was organised by Harmondsworth resident Neil Keveren, who said: “We brought with us people from all the villages that would be affected. We will practice our kicking into the long grass, and our u-turns.
“The Conservative Government made promises that there would be no third runway before they were elected, and now it looks like they are going back on their word.
“If we can’t believe them on this issue, how can we believe them about anything? We have been ignored for too long, and we just want to exercise our free speech and let our political leaders know that they should stand by their word.
“Sipson has been reprieved this time, but Harmondsworth and Longford would be destroyed.”