New group (RAGE) in Elmbridge, to oppose Heathrow noise and expansion, want MP Dominic Raab to “come off the fence”
Date added: November 17, 2015
A new community group has been formed in Elmbridge. RAGE (Residents Action Group Elmbridge) is opposing changed Heathrow flight paths & a 3rd Heathrow runway, believing there is quite enough noise pollution and air pollution already, from the airport. Elmbridge is affected by Heathrow flights. RAGE campaigners have demanded that their MP (Dominic Raab, Conservative – Esher and Walton) and Elmbridge Council take a stance on the issue – as a government decision on a new runway is anticipated before Christmas. Neither has reached an official view on a Heathrow runway. Dominic Raab is sitting on the fence, and not committing to oppose a Heathrow runway, presumably not keen to fall out with Tory leaders. He has said he is “scrutinising the Davies Report carefully, including testing the economic and environmental assumptions.” Mr Raab appears to be hoping there could, magically, be less noise for Elmbridge with a 3rd runway than currently. “I want to check the facts and evidence very carefully before coming to a firm view….” RAGE were shocked that Elmbridge Council had only just formed a task force on the issue. RAGE spokeswoman Katy Glassborow said Heathrow expansion would bring more noise and pollution, and Dominic Raab should find out what local people think and work to prevent the negative impacts on his constituents.
RAGE! Against changed Heathrow flight paths & Heathrow expansion. No 3rd runway! Enough air & noise pollution already.
Map shows how close the northern part of Elmbridge is to Heathrow (Elmbridge shaded in pink)
Elmbridge anger as MP and council ‘lack Heathrow stance’
Campaigners fighting Heathrow expansion have demanded their MP and council take a stance on the issue – as a government decision looms by the end of the year.
The newly-formed group in Elmbridge, Surrey, called Rage, is opposing flight path changes and expansion.
Campaigners said Dominic Raab MP had not set out his views and were shocked that Elmbridge council had only just formed a task force.
Both the council and MP said they had not yet reached an official view.
The Esher and Walton Conservative MP said on his blog he was scrutinising the report by the Airports Commission, looking at the economic and environmental assumptions, testing assumptions on noise levels, and checking facts and evidence before reaching a firm view.
In a statement, Elmbridge council said it agreed in September to set up a group to explore the impact of Heathrow expansion and the outcome would inform its view.
Rage spokeswoman Katy Glassborow said expansion would bring more noise and pollution.
She said: “It’s about time he [Dominic Raab MP] found out what local people think and showed his colours on their behalf.
“We are calling on him and also Elmbridge Borough Council to move quickly to represent our views and oppose expansion plans.
“Otherwise, hundreds of thousands more planes could be flying over our homes and schools.”
“Make you mind up time was a very, very long time ago. People living in surrounding constituencies have long been defended by MPs willing to take a strong stand against Heathrow expansion, and protect the basic rights of the people they represent. Like breathing air that doesn’t breach legal levels of toxicity, and the ability to get an adequate night’s sleep uninterrupted by aircraft noise. Dominic Raab’s inertia is utterly baffling and we call on him to act immediately to quash plans for more runways, thus safeguarding our health, sanity and climate against the greed of the aviation industry. No more runways Mr Raab!” said Katy Glassborow.
This week, I met up with Nigel Milton (Heathrow’s Director for External Affairs) and Cheryl Monk (Heathrow’s Head of Community Relations), along with Molesey Councillor Steve Bax (who sits on Heathrow’s local Noise Community Forum).
The meeting was part of an ongoing dialogue since last year’s highly disruptive flight trial paths over Molesey (and Walton). I live under the path, so I hear the noise first hand.
Two interesting points emerged from the meeting in that regard. First, no further flight path trials are (at least currently) planned across the same areas. Second, Heathrow have sought independent verification of the noise levels, using a Dutch firm, given the discrepancy between what some residents are reporting and Heathrow’s data. My strong sense is that noise levels have reduced significantly, but there have also been a lot of ‘Easterly Operations’ lately, which increase noise levels, dictated by weather conditions.
Of course, there is a much bigger issue looming, namely the decision on expansion of airport capacity, following the Davies Report.
I have made clear that I am scrutinising the Davies Report carefully, including testing the economic and environmental assumptions – both pros and cons – with business groups, local authorities, and other groups.
As part of that process, I particularly want to test the assumption that a 3rd runway could be developed in a way that reduces noise levels (affecting Elmbridge and more generally). I want to check the facts and evidence very carefully before coming to a firm view, and I will feed my views, our community’s interests and concerns into government, before a decision is taken.