Harmondsworth Open Day shows the extent of the threat of a Heathrow runway, and what it would destroy

On Sunday 12th April the village of Harmondsworth hosted an open day, to show off the village – and inform visitor about what plans for a Heathrow north-west runway would mean for the area.  The Heathrow Villages are fighting for their survival.  If Heathrow is allowed to build its north west runway, Harmondsworth will be destroyed.  Much of it would be built over, with the airport’s northern boundary slicing off around half of the village. Longford would disappear altogether. During the open day, held on the village green, there were tours of the magnificent early 15th Century Great Barn, and walking tours of the village and of Harmondsworth Moor. A huge canvas had been created, showing a plane and a wire boundary fence – which would be where the airport would come to within a few yards of the current village centre. Though the Great Barn and the Church of St Mary the Virgin would not be demolished, their proximity to the airport boundary would mean the level of noise and air pollution would be intolerable. In an effective short video, Neil Keveren explains how people in the area have been living through hell, unable to plan for their future – or even make decisions about whether to do improvement work on their homes – because of the Sword of Damocles threat hanging over them. And Christine Taylor shows on a map what would be destroyed.


Campaigners protest over third runway at Heathrow


Stop Heathrow Expansion

A day of action was held at Harmondsworth, near Heathrow, to highlight “the devastation” that local residents and campaigners know would be caused by a third runway.

Historic buildings would be under threat in villages around the airport from the development with hundreds of thousands more flights causing extra noise and pollution across the Thames Valley and over London.

Harmondsworth is one of attractive Heathrow villages, and residents are working hard to protect its historic buildings and community.

Its magnificent early 15th-century Great Barn was described by Sir John Betjeman as the cathedral of Middlesex.


Stop Heathrow Expansion

Map below showing Harmondsworth village, and approximate line where Heathrow airport’s northern boundary, with a new north-west boundary, would demolish the southern half of the village.

Harmondsworth sliced

Film on YouTube

Film on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvJmG4M1soU&feature=youtu.be
While the village communities of Harmondsworth and Sipson will be torn apart by a third runway,
The village of Longford will be erased from the map
With it hundreds of years of English heritage will be buried beneath the tarmac.


Harmondsworth takes stand against Heathrow’s third runway plans

21.4.2015 (Get West London)

The village united with parliamentary candidates for an open day to show what would be lost if Heathrow’s third runway plans are approved

Harmondsworth villagers unite in their stance against the third runway

Harmondsworth villagers staged an open day to show members of the public what would be destroyed if a third runway at Heathrow Airport goes ahead.

Residents of the ancient village were joined by prospective parliamentary candidates for Hayes & Harlington on April 12 to make a stand against the third runway.

The event was organised by Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) and Friends of the Great Barn to protect Harmondsworth, which originated as a Saxon manor.

John McDonnell, previous MP and Labour candidate for Hayes & Harlington, said: “I am confident that we can defeat the threat of a third runway once again and once and for all.

“I was so pleased to see the Heathrow villagers rallying to our campaign to save the village once more.

“The Harmondsworth open day demonstrated what a beautiful village would be lost if the third runway went ahead.”

The parliamentary candidates stopped for photos to reiterate their stand against a possible third runway at Heathrow.

Alick Munro, Green candidate for Hayes & Harlington, said: “As a GP with patients in Harlington, I am daily made aware of the effects of air pollution. About one in three of my patients asks for help to cope with their cough, even although the prevalence of smoking in the area is low.

“Nitric oxide and small particle pollution from traffic fumes are well known to make runny nose and itchy eyes worse and aggravate the results of lung function tests.”

UKIP’s Cliff Dixon said: “The residents of Hillingdon have overwhelmingly rejected the project in a referendum. It is time the government and the airport listened to the wishes of the people.”

A focus of the event was the reopening of the 15th-century Great Barn since the completion of major repairs by English Heritage.

Poet Sir John Betjeman, who spoke to visitors at the event, described the barn as “the cathedral of Middlesex”, which was saved from developers by the intervention of a group of determined villagers.

Neil Keveren, chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE), said: “This is a chance for us to show to the world that we are utterly determined to fight for our homes and our community. We will not be going anywhere else.”

The event included the unveiling of a giant mural on Cambridge Close, especially created for the open day, to illustrate the proposed airport boundary cutting through the village.

Mr Keveren added: “We are thankful for the backing we have received from Hillingdon Council and from Harts, the community arts project”.

As well as displaying the mural, SHE and HARTS set up a tree-planting planting project in the Heathrow Villages, with the first tree planted in Harmondsworth Recreation Ground on the day.

World War Two RAF veteran Tommy Thomas, who is one of the oldest residents of the village at age 93, was chosen to plant the oak tree.

As well as the oak, nine new trees now form a triangular grove just south of Harmondsworth primary school.

The Airports Commission has been examining potential sites for new runways in the South East and is expected to publish its final report in June.

SHE hopes to take the canvas on its folding frame to various locations before the Davies Commission announces its recommendation.



Campaigners’ artwork shows life with a third runway

12.4.2015 (SHE – Stop Heathrow Expansion)

A huge artwork created by campaign group, Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE), was used on Sunday 12th April to show Harmondsworth residents how a new airport boundary would cut through their village.

New boundary would cut across Cambridge Close in Harmondsworth

Neil Keveren explaining the huge canvas to the crowd

The painted canvas depicts a wire airport perimeter fence, in front of an imposing aircraft with a control tower in the background.  Two solitary residents, shown as silhouettes in the foreground, look through the fence at what was once their village.

As part of the Great Barn Open Day event, the portable canvas was unveiled in Cambridge Close.  If Heathrow’s North West option for a third runway is given the go ahead, the Close would be demolished together with all the homes and businesses to the south of the published boundary line, including the primary school.  Current plans indicate The Crown public house and properties lining the village green would be left.

Neil Keveren, SHE’s Chair, unveiled the artwork with the assistance of two climate change protestors dressed as polar bears. Representatives from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Plane Stupid, Transition Heathrow and HACAN, showed their support by placing their logos on the painted fence.

Local politicians and parliamentary candidates from the Labour, Conservative, UKIP and Green parties also joined villagers to pledge their support for the anti-expansion campaign.

SHE hopes to take the canvas on its folding frame to various locations before the Davies Commission announces its recommendation in June.

There is a moving and expressive short film, showing how the Harmondsworth village will be devastated, with half destroyed.


Film on YouTube

Film on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvJmG4M1soU&feature=youtu.be
While the village communities of Harmondsworth and Sipson will be torn apart by a third runway,
The village of Longford will be erased from the map
With it hundreds of years of English heritage will be buried beneath the tarmac.

Map shows the area (red line) that would be compulsorily purchased (750homes), for a Heathrow north west runway, and the area (purple line) which Heathrow will now also offer to buy (total 3,750 homes). Details here

Map below shows Heathrow north west runway location, and approximate airport boundary. From Heathrow document.

Heathrow north west runway option 31.7.2013


Candidates from (l-r) UKIP, Conservatives, Labour and the Green Party show their support.