3rd runway plan for Heathrow and 2nd runway plan for Stansted scrapped by BAA

24.5.2010   (Guardian)

by Peter Walker

Protesters and local groups rejoice as expansions at Heathrow, and also at Stansted
and Gatwick are ruled out by coalition government

The airports operator BAA today formally dropped plans for new runways at Heathrow and Stansted airports, bringing to a close one of the most controversial parts
of the last Labour government’s
transport policy.

Local campaigners, who spent eight years arguing that the expansion would not
only result in the demolition of hundreds of homes but wreck the peace of thousands
more with extra aircraft noise and pollution, said they were overjoyed at the

“My first reaction is – hooray! I can hardly believe it. I can’t believe that
we’ve finally won. My first thought is that we need to plan a party,” said Geraldine Nicholson from the No Third Runway Action Group, based in villages to the north of Heathrow’s perimeter.

Since the expansion proposals were outlined in a government paper in 2002 BAA,
which operates both airports, has pressed ahead with plans for both sites, buying
up a number of properties in preparation.

However, both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats came out against the schemes,
and with Labour looking set to leave office, BAA said late last year it was shelving
its programme at Heathrow until after the election.

The new government’s formal coalition agreement last week promised to cancel Heathrow’s third runway and rule out a new runway
at Stansted, as well as at London’s third main airport, Gatwick.

Following this announcement, BAA today said it would stop all work on a planning
application for the third Heathrow runway.

In a separate statement, it said it was also withdrawing its plans for a second
Stansted runway. Schemes to buy houses in both affected areas would also end,
it added, although some purchases already underway would continue.

The company’s chief executive, Colin Matthews, said: “We recognise the importance
of government policy in a matter as significant and controversial as runway capacity.

“The policy intentions of the new government are clear and it is no longer appropriate
for us to purchase properties. Equally important is our intention to stand behind
our commitment made to provide time for those local residents who wish to sell
their properties to us, to do so.”

Speaking of Heathrow, he added: “We continue to believe that new capacity would
strengthen the UK’s trading links with the global markets on which our economy
and our competitiveness depend.”

The Heathrow expansion would have resulted in the demolition of more than 700
homes in the village of Sipson, along with its school, church, pubs and restaurants
to make way for the runway.

Nicholson said the village, and surrounding areas, had been badly affected by
its potential fate: “The uncertainty has been the hardest part. For the whole
area it’s been like living under a black cloud. Now that black cloud has finally
been lifted. It’s fantastic.”

Carol Barbone, from the Stop Stansted Expansion group, said: “We are absolutely delighted. We are rejoicing, thrilled. It’s
been eight long years. We are nonetheless mindful that things can change and we
will be looking for a longer term commitment on this.

“It’s not something we expected. BAA have been trying religiously to build this
runway. If they are able to roll over so easily now, why couldn’t they have done
it before?”



see also


BAA Heathrow announces: They are stopping all plans for a 3rd runway !

Date Added: 25th May 2010

BAA HEATHROW SAYS: “In response to the new Government’s ‘Coalition Agreement’,
Heathrow Airport today announces that it will stop work on the planning application
for a 3rd runway.” BAA also plans to stop buying properties in Sipson, after a
period of notice lasting till June. Colin Matthews, BAA’s CEO, said: “We recognise
the importance of government policy in a matter as significant and controversial
as runway capacity….The policy intentions of the new government are clear…”

Click here to view full story…


BAA STANSTED: Stansted to withdraw runway planning application !

Date Added: 24th May 2010

BAA Stansted says: “Stansted Airport today announces that it is withdrawing its
application to build a 2nd runway at the airport. The move follows a clear indication
that Government airports policy will change, following the recent General Election.
Stansted will also withdraw, with immediate effect, the provision for assisted
relocation within the home owner support scheme introduced at Stansted in 2004.”
They add that BAA believes “new airport capacity is needed in the South East of
England, to strengthen the UK’s international trading links.”

Click here to view full story…



Date Added: 24th May 2010

Stop Stansted Expansion is about to organise the biggest party in its history
following BAA’s humiliating climbdown over its plans for a 2nd Stansted runway.
BAA formally withdrew its planning application for a second Stansted runway which
if approved would have made the airport bigger than Heathrow. The planning application
had taken BAA more than 4 years to prepare and cost the airport operator some
£200 million – and badly damaged local communities.

Click here to view full story…