SHE has found another area of housing (in Heston) to be demolished, to cater for Heathrow 3rd runway
As many as 100 homes in Heston, around 4.5 miles from Heathrow, would have to be destroyed if the M4 motorway is widened to accommodate traffic generated by a new third runway. Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) has found the admission deep in a technical analysis, by Highways England, of upgrades to the road network that would be required with a new runway. This is a document published by the DfT when it announced Heathrow was its preferred location for a runway. SHE is shocked that this potential loss of homes has not been included in the figures of properties under threat. It also means that people in those homes are unlikely to know the threat, or have enough information to respond fully to the forthcoming consultations. The Highways England document has information on the stretch of the M4 that would need to be widened, with an additional lane to meet extra demand. It states that M4 J2 to J3 widening would result in “substantial acquisition of land including residential and commercial properties in the vicinity of Winchester Avenue”. That is a residential road. Location. SHE visited the residents to see if they were aware of these proposals, but none to whom they spoke were. Heathrow is unlikely to accept that all changes to roads are due to a 3rd runway because that admission would make them liable to pay for that infrastructure. The taxpayer will therefore have to pay the cost.
Since this story was broken by the BBC, the DfT has changed its mind and informed the BBC that it has no plans to widen the M4. The local MP, Seema Malhotra wants definitive confirmation of this, and why residents were never informed of the possibility. BBC film (13.30 – 17.40) at
NEW COMMUNITY UNDER THREAT OF RUNWAY 3 DEMOLITION
18 January 2017 (SHE – Stop Heathrow Expansion press release)
As many as 100 homes in Heston, around 4.5 miles from Heathrow, would have to be destroyed if the M4 motorway is widened to accommodate traffic generated by a new third runway (1).
Stop Heathrow Expansion has found the admission deep in a technical analysis of upgrades to the road network that would be required if Heathrow expansion gets the go ahead.
What is shocking is that this potential loss of homes has not been included in the figures of properties under threat. It has meant that there are people living in the Hounslow Borough who are not likely to be sufficiently informed to give their views on expansion during the forthcoming Consultation, due to start shortly.
In October 2016, when the Government announced that a third runway at Heathrow was its preferred solution for dealing with its perceived need for extra airport capacity in the south east of England, a number of documents were produced.
The Government published these reports as part of the announcement to provide the “background and rationale” behind it’s thinking (2).
One of those documents was written by Highways England, a government organisation that operates, maintains and improves England’s motorways and major A-roads.
The report “Airports Commission Surface Access Works”, which is labelled “official sensitive”, identifies a stretch of the M4 in west London as requiring an upgrade (3).
This involves widening the motorway to provide an additional lane to meet extra demand.
The devastating impact on the lives of hundreds more people in Heston has been dismissed with the words that widening of a section of motorway between Junction 2 and 3 would result in “substantial acquisition of land including residential and commercial properties in the vicinity of Winchester Avenue” (3).
This week, Stop Heathrow Expansion visited residents in the affected area to find out if they were aware of these proposals.
Robert Barnstone, Campaign Co-Ordinator at Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “This information, buried deep in a technical analysis, was a shock for residents in and around Winchester Avenue. No one I spoke to had any idea that Heathrow expansion could result in the loss homes in their area.”
Stop Heathrow Expansion feels this calls into question the accessibility of the information that has published for the public. There is no doubt that up to 260,000 extra flights a year will result in new flightpaths and the extra traffic will lead to new and wider roads, yet the government is effectively hiding these details from communities that would be hugely impacted by them.
Heathrow is unlikely to accept that all changes to roads are due to a third runway because that admission would make them liable to pay for that infrastructure.
If the Government does not press Heathrow to pay, the British taxpayer will have to foot the bill.
Rob Barnstone added: “Residents must make their views known about these proposals. Heathrow expansion is now even more controversial and undeliverable than before.”
Feltham & Heston MP Seema Malhotra has tabled a written question to the Secretary of State for Transport asking for further information on the potential upgrades to the M4 (4). The Government will respond on Friday (5).
Click image for larger version to see where Winchester Avenue is along the M4
(1) Featured on BBC London News, 1.30pm, 18 Jan 2017
Airports Commission Surface Access Works. Strategic Road Network Proposals. Validation of Costs and Delivery Assumptions https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/562063/airports-commission-surface-access-works-strategic-road-network-proposals-validation-of-costs-and-delivery-assumptions.pdf – see p. 52.
For more information:
Rob Barnstone on 07806 947050; email@example.com