Times reports “Village activists dig in for war over Heathrow’s third runway”

The Times reports on the environmental activists who have embedded themselves in the villages around Heathrow, determined to conduct a continuing campaign of civil disobedience against a 3rd runway. They are working with the local communities that face either demolition of 783 homes, or having to move if their homes become impossible to live in – due to the impact of the airport.  The campaigners are equally opposed to the high CO2 emissions that a new runway would generate, making the UK’s efforts to meet carbon targets almost impossible to achieve. While there have been protests, like a runway incursion and blocking a Heathrow road tunnel, it is likely there will be more – this could last for years. Around 20 activists have been living in the Grow Heathrow community for 5 years, and others are moving into the area with a number in Sipson.  An “adopt a resident” scheme run by the direct action group Plane Stupid has helped local people to work with dedicated activists and will be used again.  The threat of evictions is very cruel.  Neil Keveren, a local activist and builder, determined to fight a runway: “There are elderly people here who live happy, independent lives because they are supported by the community — if the village is destroyed then they will struggle to survive the upheaval.”



Village activists dig in for war over Heathrow’s third runway

Grow Heathrow has been living on four acres of wasteland since 2010, growing its own food and generating its own power

By Sean O’Neill Chief Reporter (The Times)
December 4th 2015

Environmental activists have embedded themselves in the villages around Heathrow and vowed to wage a long campaign of civil disobedience against the building of a third runway.
The activists are allied with local campaigners in the blighted villages of Harmondsworth, Sipson and Harlington to fight the expansion of the airport which is expected to be approved by the Cabinet next week.

They warn that protests this year — including an incursion on to the north runway, blockades of the road tunnel to the airport and flash mobs in terminals — are the start of things to come. David Cameron’s 2009 “no ifs, no buts” pledge that there would be no third runway has become the loudest chant at protests against the demolition of 783 homes, the menace of aircraft noise and the threat to the environment.


Full article in the Times (£) at



Transition Heathrow:

We have four main Aims:

  • To further the Heathrow villages as an iconic symbol of community resistance to the economic, ecological and democratic crises.
  • To develop and promote community and resource autonomy to support long-term community resilience
  • To establish replicable structures of organisation, which could provide a model for future non-hierarchical, consensus-based communities.
  • To root the grassroots radical values of the 3rd runway resistance in the Heathrow villages for the long term


They say:

Our objective is to build permanent and sustainable communities within threatened areas to offer and show a viable alternative to the bulldozing of green spaces, houses, lives and history.

We aim to promote, green, living, working fellowships – equipped to deal with the impacts of climate change and peak oil – controlled by those directly affected by expansion plans – the Heathrow workers and residents.

This, in turn, empowers the community and helps it fight the profit-driven decisions imposed by Governments and corporations, rather than simply suffering the consequences.

Grass root solutions will lead towards a sustainable and resilient Heathrow for all, while the decision of the authorities will mean maximum profits for a few – at the expense of job losses, community destruction and environmental devastation.


Just a few of the groups against a Heathrow 3rd runway:

Plane Stupid
Direct-action group blocked Heathrow road tunnel last month and plans “adopt-a-resident” scheme to involve local people in protests.

Stop Heathrow Expansion
Local group which holds its meetings in the Five Bells pub in Harmondsworth, the village most affected by runway plans.

Hacan (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise)
Draws support from across west London and the home counties. Has staged numerous protests and events over the past 8 years or so.

Grow Heathrow
Activists who have squatted on land in Sipson for five years; fighting airport expansion and threats of eviction.

Back Off Heathrow
Seeks “a future without increased planes from Heathrow”.

Teddington Action Group
Based in Teddington, Hampton and Twickenham; says noise and pollution levels already break the law every day.


Richmond Heathrow Campaign  – long established group, looking at a range of issues related to Heathrow, on noise, economics,air pollution etc.


Friends of the Earth local groups  – in areas around West London


Greenpeace local groups.


Green Party local groups


….. and many more locally in different areas afffected by Heathrow.