Labour rebels opposed to third runway give backing to new airport in Thames estuary
â€¢ Government decision on runway possible this week
at Heathrow, which could be approved by the government this week, by backing plans
for a new London airport.
of an airport on the Thames estuary. The proposal, which would divert flights
away from London, was mooted by the London mayor, Boris Johnson, but is gathering
support against the government’s apparent determination to expand Britain’s biggest
is gearing up for a prolonged battle over Heathrow, with a former government minister
telling the Guardian that Heathrow’s owner, BAA, broke a promise not to seek expansion
of the west London airport.
gave a very clear undertaking that they would not ask for further expansion –
and specifically a third runway – if they were granted approval for terminal 5
and of course that has been torn up.”
pledge during the T5 planning inquiry.
which would insulate heavily populated areas from aircraft noise by allowing takeoffs
and landings over water. Johnson has commissioned Doug Oakervee, an experienced
engineer and executive chair of Crossrail, to conduct a feasibility study into
the plan, which has been dismissed as impossible by some aviation experts and
has been in effect disowned by Johnson’s parliamentary colleagues.
could come as early as Thursday. The decision has been delayed since last month
after the environment and
minister Lord Adonis met Gordon Brown last Wednesday and the matter was discussed
a day later in Liverpool by Benn and Miliband.
wills, with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats vowing to vote against it
and only 32 rebel Labour MPs needed for the government to be defeated. An early
day motion opposed to the runway already has more than that number of Labour signatories,
although some will be unable to stomach going through the voting lobbies with
parliamentary approval before signalling its approval of Heathrow expansion.
is expected to embed its Heathrow decision within a wider parcel of transport
policies, including a high-speed rail hub for Heathrow.
against the government if it allows BAA to lodge a planning application. The group
2M – which represents seven councils in London opposed to the runway – has had
lawyers engaged since the summer in looking at grounds for a judicial review.
flight path and put the health of Londoners at risk.