“Aircraft Noise 3 Villages” says DfT’s Heathrow consultation is ‘flawed’ as Surrey Heath left in the dark

The Aircraft Noise 3 Villages group, that represents residents in Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot, is angry that local councils are not doing anything to get the amount of aircraft noise from Heathrow reduced. They want action by Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) and Surrey County Council  to tackle the issue of increased aircraft noise. They are also concerned that their areas were excluded from the distribution of 1.5 million leaflets by the DfT, inviting members of the public to a series of public events on the Heathrow National Policy Statement (NPS) consultation. The DfT is holding 20 events in areas affected by Heathrow, but this has not covered many of the places that either already get, or will  get, intense levels of plane noise if there was a 3rd runway. Rosalie James, from the Aircraft Noise 3 Villages group, has written to the DfT, Surrey Heath MP, Michael Gove and Surrey County Councillor, Mike Goodman, to say their areas should have had a DfT info event. The absence of DfT events is yet another way in which the NPS consultation is widely regarded as deeply flawed. Even if people can attend a DfT event, they will find no information on future flight paths, though it is known that almost 50% more Heathrow flights, using more concentrated flight paths, would cause severe noise problems for those overflown.



Heathrow consultation ‘flawed’ as Surrey Heath left in the dark, argues campaign group

Although 1.5 million leaflets on the airport consultation were distributed, a Surrey Heath campaign group says their villages were missed



A Surrey Heath campaign group is continuing its battle for representation amid growing outrage over aircraft noise caused by Heathrow Airport .

Representing Lightwater , Windlesham and Bagshot , Aircraft Noise 3 Villages, is demanding action over increased aircraft noise.

Previously they have raised concerns over Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) and Surrey County Council ‘s ‘failure’ to tackle the issue.

Now, the group says the three villages were excluded from leaflet distribution, inviting members of the public a series of public events on the Heathrow consultation.

As part of the draft Airports National Policy Statement consultation, the Department of Transport (DfT) has organised 20 events in areas around Heathrow.

One and-a-half million leaflets were distributed to publicise the free events, however Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot were not included, said Aircraft Noise 3 Villages.

In an email to DfT, Surrey Heath MP, Michael Gove and Surrey County Councillor, Mike Goodman, Rosalie James from the campaign group criticised the exclusion of the three villages from the consultation process.

“I would suggest that the DfT had a responsibility, at the very least, to include communities represented at the Heathrow Community Noise Forum as a base point for determining who is actually affected by noise,” she said.

“The DfT needs to start dealing with the realities of current noise.”

Mrs James continued to state that the consultation is a “flawed and biased process”.

Writing in response to the complaints, policy official for the DfT’s Airport Capacity Directorate, Matthew Bigault, stressed that publicity for the events was not restricted to the leaflets.

“A full list of venue addresses was available online by the time the leaflets were distributed, and were also available via the Freephone number listed on the leaflet,” he said.

“We have also advertised in a number of local papers, on national and local radio stations and through various digital platforms. These various media have been designed to encourage people to attend a nearby event.”

He added: “Delivering this volume of leaflets understandably takes time. We specified that delivery should be prioritised in those areas where the first events were being held.

“We apologise to residents who feel they were not given enough notice.”

However, this provided little comfort to campaigners demanding action over issues that come inter-linked with the Heathrow Airport expansion.

Mrs James added in response: “You can rest assured that I shall be submitting a formal complaint about this flawed and biased process.”



See earlier:

Council has ‘head in the sand’ says campaign group demanding action over Heathrow aircraft noise

Complaints that the council aren’t doing enough have followed data confirming the increase of aircraft flying over the area

24 FEB 2017

Concerns have been raised over Surrey Heath Borough Council’s (SHBC) failure to tackle increased aircraft noise in areas affected by Heathrow Airport’s flight paths.

Representing Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot, Aircraft Noise 3 Villages is the group leading the campaign for more action to be taken.

On its website, Aircraft Noise 3 Villages claimed aircraft noise can now be heard from as early as 4.30am until 11.30pm.

The group said recent data has revealed that the increase in noise is down to three factors – lowering heights of planes, a growing number of aircraft and increased concentration of flight paths.

This is set to get even worse they say, as the expansion of Heathrow Airport will see an additional 240,000 planes flying over the area every year.

In a email to the ward councillors of Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot, Rosalie James, from Aircraft Noise 3 Villages, said: “To date, you and your team have never had the basic courtesy to respond to any email requesting the council’s view on the changes irrefutably evidenced by the Gate Analysis report.

“Where is the representation from SHBC and Surrey County Council to protect the rights of, and engage with affected residents?

“It is your collective responsibility to ensure ALL residents’ views are dealt with equally and impartially, regardless of personal opinions.”

Ms James accused SHBC of having their “heads in the sand in the hope that those complaining will simply give up the ghost”.

“That will not happen” she added.

Ms James also said the council “make no contribution” to the Heathrow Community Noise Forum (HCNF), a group that was created in response to local concerns in 2015.

Ward councillor for Bagshot, Windlesham and Chobham, Mike Goodman, confirmed that while two SHBC representatives do attend the HCNF, there are currently no Surrey County Council representatives.

However, he stressed the importance of resident representation.

He said: “I have requested a consultation to take place in Surrey Heath and I wrote a letter last week to Lord Ahmad, Minister for Aviation about the issue.

“If there is to be a consultation for Heathrow, Surrey Heath residents must also be consulted.

A spokesperson for SHBC said: “We do not have any powers to enforce against noise from aircraft, nor do we have duties to investigate.

“Should we receive complaints from members of the public we advise them to report noise complaints to the Civil Aviation Authority.

“The interests of residents of Surrey Heath are represented by Cllr Sturt and Cllr Jennings-Evans on the Heathrow Community Noise Forum.”