BAA plans for 3rd Heathrow runway delayed â€” but is it too late for Sipson?
local residents. For the last seven years, a loose coalition of
BAA’s plans to expand northwards. The company says Heathrow – and Britain – are
greatly hampered by a main airport with only two runways – Charles de Gaulle in
Paris has four, while Amsterdam’s Schiphol has six.
application until after a general election. With expansion
on its application. However, it admitted that the process will be interrupted
by the election: “We expect to be in a position to consult with local residents
and all other interested parties in the second half of 2010.”
by discussions with the government’s new
parts are not influenced by anything other than the requirements of the IPC and
the volume of work to put together a compelling application,” a spokesman said.
appear to mean that 700 homes in Sipson – the village that would have been flattened
to build the runway – along with its handful of pubs, restaurants and other businesses,
may be saved.
members remain cautious.
mind in the face of relentless lobbying from BAA and British Airways. The latter’s
chief executive, Willie Walsh, called the runway decision the party’s “biggest
but surely, collapsing around them.
in what remains a clearly defined village nestled in acres of green belt fields,
despite sitting only a few hundred metres from Heathrow’s northern perimeter and
not much further south of the M4.
to a community, with no timescale, no schedule, is an absolute disgrace.”
surprisingly little by aircraft noise thanks to the orientation of runways, Doyle
describes how the threat hanging over the village means the only home buyers are
speculative landlords who install short-term tenants, many from eastern Europe,
with no real stake in the community’s future.
75 householders have agreed. Such an exodus, believes Sean Walters, the pub’s
landlord, would mean the end: “No one wants to be next door to an empty house,
so they’ll move on as well. That’s how BAA will get the runway anyway – who’ll
want to live in a ghost village?”
David Cameron has not only backed their cause but sponsors an apple tree on land
in Sipson bought by protesters and planted as an orchard. “If Cameron reneges
on his promise, it would be so bad I won’t ever vote again in this country in
my life,” said Linda McCutcheon, 64, who has lived in Sipson for more than forty years. “He said it, so he
needs to take action. We’ll work from there to get a definite no.” Any minister
of their arrival, several sexagenarians would be lying down in their path. Many
locals have promised direct action and are supported by younger, more experienced
green campaigners through an innovative “adopt a resident” scheme.
forget about us, you’ll go on to something else.’ But they said they wouldn’t
and they’ve kept to their word,” McCutcheon said.
stake: “My children were born in the village, at the cottage hospital, which has
now gone. They were christened in the local church and went to school here. It’s
an entire life, and it would all be under concrete. It’s a terrible thought.”
Department for Transport said a third runway could result in more flights to parts
of the UK.
demand for regional air services," it said.
to be connected to Heathrow in order to do business around the world."