Opponents vow to fight plan for Heathrow third runway
‘unwanted’ airport expansion
to secure the expansion of Heathrow after giving the go-ahead to controversial
plans for a third runway.
ministers who had doubts about the £9bn project. Opponents said Gordon Brown’s
reputation on green issues was in tatters.
that it could cost Labour several west London seats at the general election and
boost the green credentials of the Conservatives, who oppose it.
Heathrow to rise from 480,000 to 702,000 a year by 2030. But the expansion faces
a series of formidable hurdles if it is to be delivered on schedule by 2018-2020
– and may never be built.
permission for the project.
when he gave the runway the Government’s formal approval yesterday. John McDonnell, the Labour MP whose Hayes and Harlington constituency includes Heathrow, condemned
the plan as a “disgrace to democracy” and grabbed the mace, the symbol of the
Queen’s authority in Parliament. He was suspended from the chamber for five days.
members a formal vote, the Liberal Democrat MP Susan Kramer will force a symbolic division by bringing in a backbench Bill this month.
private secretary in protest at the decision. He said: “I met the Prime Minister
today to discuss things and am going to go away and consider my position. I have
not decided what to do yet.”
[per year?] unless the aircraft industry brought in new designs to cut emissions so that,
by 2050, aircraft pollution would be lower than it was in 2005. This, he said,
would give Britain “the toughest climate change regime for aviation” in the world.
He also announced plans to build a new high-speed rail line from Heathrow to London
St Pancras, which could be extended to the Midlands, and pleased environment groups
by abandoning proposals for all-day take-offs and landings on the two existing
generate £5.5bn for the economy and create 6,000 permanent jobs and 60,000 during
the construction. But Theresa Villiers, the shadow Secretary of State for Transport, warned building companies not
to sign contracts. She said: “Make no mistake: we will find a way of stopping
this from happening. Anyone out there thinking about signing up to this does so at their own risk.”
would have the power to scrap all contracts agreed between the airports operator
BAA and its sub-contractors, although compensation might have to be paid.
by the Government’s concessions. Environmental groups were united in denouncing
the plans. At a joint press conference, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Royal Society
for the Protection of Birds and even the sedate National Trust joined local protest groups, activists and councils to condemn the decision
and to pledge to fight to reverse it.
has just started torpedoing its own policies.” Andy Atkins, the executive director of Friends of the Earth, said: “They have shot themselves
in the foot.”
trying to explain to you why it is justifiable to have one more fix – the fix
here being carbon.”