Boris turns down London City Airport expansion plans on noise grounds
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has refused London City Airport’s plan to expand on noise grounds. In a letter he has instructed Newham Council, who had approved the application, to refuse it. The Mayor says the application does not “adequately mitigate and manage its adverse noise impacts.” Newham’s decision was always dependent on the Mayor’s approval. London City Airport wanted permission to build new taxiways to permit larger planes to use the airport. It also wanted more car parking spaces. The decision will be a bitter blow to the airport as it will now no longer be able to bring in the larger planes it wanted to serve new destinations. John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, which campaigned against the expansion plans, said “The airport is paying the price for being so cavalier about noise. Quite simply, Boris did not believe its claims that it was dealing adequately with noise. We salute his decision”. The decision appears to be final, and it is unclear whether London City Airport can appeal to the Secretary of State. They may do so.
Boris turns down London City Airport expansion plans on noise grounds
26.3.2015 (HACAN East)
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has refused London City Airport’s plan to expand on noise grounds. In a letter he has instructed Newham Council, who had approved the application, to refuse it (1). Newham’s decision was always dependent on the Mayor’s approval.
London City Airport wanted permission to build new taxiways to permit larger planes to use the airport. It also wanted more car parking spaces. The decision will be a bitter blow to the airport as it will now no longer be able to bring in the larger planes it wanted to serve new destinations.
John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, which campaigned against the expansion plans, said “The airport is paying the price for being so cavalier about noise. Quite simply, Boris did not believe its claims that it was dealing adequately with noise. We salute his decision”
The text of the letter to Newham Council, Development Control.
London City Airport: Mayor rejects expansion plan
A £220m bid to expand London City Airport has been turned down by the mayor after more than 1,000 people objected to it.
Boris Johnson has instructed Newham Council to refuse the application on noise grounds.
The airport sought permission to create more parking spaces and build new taxiways for larger planes.
Planning permission was granted by the council in February but was subject to the mayor’s approval.
The council had said permission included conditions to help limit the noise disturbance, such as imposing flight restrictions, erecting a noise barrier and funding soundproofing packages for residents.
However a spokesman for the mayor said he believed the scheme would have lead to an “unacceptable increase in noise for East Londoners” without benefitting the city.
He said the mayor was also unwilling to expose East London to an increase in noise on the basis that he had already argued it would be unacceptable for West London if Heathrow Airport were expanded.
The mayor believed the “only long-term option” to balance the airport capacity issue with residents’ quality of life, was to build a new hub to the east of of the city, he added.
London City Airport said it was “perplexed and disappointed” by the mayor’s decision.
It said expansion would have increased London’s airport capacity, created up to 1,500 jobs, and attracted a further £750m for the UK economy.
John Stewart, chairman of HACAN East that campaigned against the expansion plans, said the group “salutes” the mayor’s decision.
“The airport is paying the price for being so cavalier about noise,” he said.
Boris Johnson ditches £200m London City Airport expansion plans
Ditched: CGI plans for the £200m City Airport expansion
His decision, welcomed by campaigners, drew accusations of “blatant electioneering” from the Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales, whose council waved through expansion proposals last month.
A Mayor of London spokesman today said: “The mayor has long argued that Heathrow Airport cannot be expanded due to the increased noise it would lead to in west London and he is not willing to expose east London to additional noise either.
“The Mayor continues to believe that a new hub airport to the east of London is the only long-term option that will provide enough aviation capacity – without detriment to the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of people in London and the southeast.”
Newham Council’s directly elected mayor Sir Robin said Mr Johnson’s decision was political and would cost the borough 2,000 jobs.
“Boris Johnson is guilty of blatant electioneering,” he said.
“He is clearly more interested in chasing election votes in Uxbridge than securing vital jobs and investment in east London.
“The cost of that electioneering is 2,000 jobs in Newham alone, £750m every year for the UK economy and the loss of environmental improvements.”
Expansion: the plans were touted as a major boost for the capital
The attack prompted Mr Johnson to fire back: “Robin Wales doesn’t speak for the people of East London.
“Perhaps he’d like to explain why it’s acceptable to support proposals that would have blighted the lives of thousands of Londoners if this proposal had gone ahead.”
Expansion proposals included an increase in the number of take-offs and landings at the airport from 70,000 a year to 111,000, almost doubling the number of passengers to six million annually by 2023.
Under the plans, the terminal would also be extended and seven new stands for aircraft introduced.
But in a letter sent to Newham Council today Mr Johnson directed the local authority to refuse the airport’s planning application.
Last month, City Airport’s chief executive Declan Collier said expansion would be a major boost to London’s economy and would provide an urgent increase in air capacity the capital “desperately” needs.
He said: “Expansion will allow us to increase the flight capacity over the next few years that London so badly needs now.”
Alan Haughton, from anti-expansion campaign group Stop City Airport, today said: “I am delighted by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s refusal of these plans that would have seen thousands of residents entering a new London City Airport noise contour.
“The impacts of noise on residents should not be underestimated nor ignored as it has a direct impact on their quality of life – something that the Labour Council of Newham did not fully respect when they gave their approval.
“No other East London Council supported this application and thousands of residents objected.”
A separate application to build a six-storey four-star hotel on the City Airport site has been left to the council to determine.
THE CASE AGAINST LONDON CITY AIRPORT CHALLENGING LONDON MAYOR BORIS JOHNSON’S DECISION AGAINST EXPANSION.
We are in unchartered waters.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has instructed Newham Council to refuse the London City Airport (LCY) planning application to massively expand the airport due to the impacts on this vastly growing part of East London. The noise would impact many other boroughs including Tower Hamlets and Greenwich.
The planning application has been a long drawn out process. Campaigners have forced consultation after consultation due to a number of errors in the process. Newham Council and the Greater London Authority (GLA) have also requested more and more information. What the Airport hoped would have been done and dusted over a few months in 2013 has dragged on for nearly two years to 2015.
This is now the point where Airport owners Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) should walk away. GIP, owners of London City Airport and Gatwick should quietly fire a few of the LCY executives, the current London City Airport Consultative Committee (LCACC) should be disbanded with a new more cohesive and balanced consultative committee and any thought of legal challenges should be dropped. Time is not on their side.
Gatwick, Boris Johnson and the Airports Commission.
Gatwick is the jewel in Global Infrastructure Partners Aviation Crown. It’s where the big money is. The most sweat-able asset.
I have heard from a number of sources that GIP Gatwick are hoping for a killer blow in its war with Heathrow. The blow comes in the form of Boris Johnson. They are hoping he will come out and support a second runway at Gatwick.
The most likely scenario is that come May 2015 Boris Johnson will be Mayor and an MP. A number of his City Hall colleagues look likely to be there too. A yes to a Gatwick second runway from his lips could change everything. Hell, he could even be Minister for Transport if the Tories win re-election. Or even Secretary of State.
Do you really want to be challenging a Mayor and MP sitting in the House of Commons when the Davies Commission will be reporting its findings? He’s the only ace up their sleeve they have left.
London City Airport have a number of routes they can explore but they have two main options, either go for a judicial review or an appeal to the Secretary of State.
In the case of a judicial review (JR) they would have to launch it almost immediately against Boris Johnson. They have up to three months to do so but there is no guarantee it would be heard. For a JR to be heard the airport would have to prove that Boris did not follow due process. Incredibly difficult from all that I have seen during this application. If, on the off chance, they did get it heard, there is no guarantee of a win at the end of that long drawn out process. If they did succeed in overturning the decision, other campaigners like myself supported by large environmental groups would step in with our own challenge. We have been gratefully receiving advice through this whole process. We have learned from 2009. We have set the stage. It is going to get messy.
Secondly an Appeal to the Secretary of State. GIP/LCY would have up to six months to launch bringing us up to September / October with again no guarantee of a win. Plus SOS Appeals also get messy. Very messy. Vocal campaigners like myself will get a chance to input. We may even get a public enquiry. This is not what GIP should want, with the Davies Commission report sitting in the laps of MP’s.
Any challenge now by LCY risks it’s owners GIP and Gatwick look untrustworthy when it comes to noise and residents. A view opposite to the one they have spend they have spent millions of pounds cultivating.
If you cannot trust LCY on noise you cannot trust Gatwick. It is that simple. To take on Boris now would be driven by blind stupidity and greed.
London City Airport will likely take the most obvious route. Go away, lick it’s wounds, put a new team in place and come back with a new planning application in the future.
And we will be here waiting, fighting.