Real battle begins over 3rd runway at Heathrow
battle over the future of the world’s busiest international passenger airport
is only now beginning in earnest.
lead to fierce fighting between politicians, businessmen, environmentalists and
residents near the airport.
how best to make political capital out of the dispute – and what is the best alternative
to expansion at Heathrow.
west London, is essential to Britain’s future economic prosperity.
it is better to have further expansion at Stansted, Essex, or even to build a
other airports will cause to the planet are expected to step up their demonstrations.
Climate Rush, a leading protest group, is planning a “peaceful” event at Terminal
1 from 7pm, but there are fears this could escalate.
approve the new £13 billion runway at Heathrow airport, which currently handles
67 million passengers a year.
main parties. On the Government side, it has long been clear that Mr Brown would
back the scheme, which chimes with his drive to boost the flagging economy with
a series of job-creating “public works” schemes.
also gave the project a boost. Mr Hoon immediately signalled his support and announced
the Government’s backing “in principle” at the end of last year.
doubts, including Harriet Harman, the Commons leader, and the Miliband brothers – David, the Foreign Secretary, and Ed, the Climate Change Secretary.
hinted that he might resign if the Government broke its promise that the project
would have tight environmental safeguards.
sources now say there is no prospect of his resignation.
signed a Commons motion objecting to the runway. A recent poll showed that it
could lose Labour four marginal seats in west London at the next election.
the political spotlight will switch to the Tories.
against a second runway at Stansted – in an attempt to underline the Tories’ green
credentials, with Theresa Villiers, the shadow transport secretary, and Justine Greening, a shadow treasury minister, taking up the cudgels.
“People who want to stop these runways going ahead have a clear choice at the
general election. If they don’t want these runways, they should vote Conservative.”
we should also be brave and consider what could be a beautiful and long-term solution,
and one with big environmental attractions,” he said.
of that which faced Labour in 1997, when it had to decide whether to proceed with
the Millennium Dome.
under the 2008 Planning Act. With a planning application not expected until 2011, that would be an effective measure if it could be got through parliament.
other major airport expansion schemes and proposed road and rail projects. However,
it does not mean that expansion at Stansted or other airports will be shelved.
The planning inquiry for a second runway at Stansted will be heard on April 15 and
judged on its merits.
for runway three. This would include the proposed $4.5 billion Heathrow Hub, a high-speed rail-link with cities such as Birmingham and Manchester by 2019,
the year before runway three would be likely to open.
They argue that the roads to and from the airport are already too congested.
go-ahead. With its 700 homes, three pubs, restaurant, and handful of shops, Sipson
is directly in the runway’s path.
by fields and many of its residents were employed in agriculture.
inhabitants have maintained a steadfast community spirit. “Heathrow is like a
juggernaut,” said Mr Sobey, a retired customs officer who used to work at the
airport. “Anything and anybody that stands in its way gets crushed.”
months ahead, but tomorrow’s scheduled meeting between the Prime Minister and
supporters of a third runway looks to be carefully timed.