A DECISION on London City Airport’s bid to increase flight numbers has been delayed by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
About 50 people turned up at Newham Council’s planning meeting in Stratford on Wednesday, July 30, held to debate the airport’s application, but were told the London Mayor had intervened at the last minute.
The application could see the number of flights at the airport rise from 80,000 to 120,000 each year.
Mr Johnson wrote to the committee just before the meeting to ask them to delay a decision on the plans, as he wanted to wait for research from the National Air Traffic Services on the possible impact of increased flights on the proposed Thames Gateway Bridge.
The committee unanimously agreed to the postponement and will now review the application in September.
Speaking at the meeting, John Fannon of Newham Council’s planning department, said: “The Mayor has made a number of points and asked the committee to defer its decision. He has concerns about safety in terms of alignment with the Thames Gateway Bridge.
“There’s a study by NATS into this risk due to be reported on soon. Officers have considered on balance it’s reasonable to defer a decision in light of the Mayor’s request.”
Mr Fannon added the Department for Transport had said the NATS report is due to be completed in a month.
He added the Mayor had said in his letter that this does not mean he is against the airport’s application.
The council then refused requests to debate the application from the public.
Outside the meeting, those against the airport’s plans were happy with the delay.
Greenwich resident Jenny Bates said: “It’s quite ironic as we have been opposing the Thames Gateway Bridge, which Boris has also said he wants to scrap, but this is still good news.
“It should give more people time to find out about the airport’s plans and realise how it would affect them.”
Anne-Marie Griffin from Fight The Flights pressure group said: “It’s good news the Mayor is looking at safety issues.
“We haven’t seen the letter, but they said there are concerns around the Thames Gateway Bridge.
“Now we want them to look at wider safety concerns.”