Set­back for Heathrow as MPs warn against a third run­way

Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Ja­son Groves Deputy Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor

HEATHROW should be barred from build­ing a third run­way un­til the air­port can demon­strate its abil­ity to meet pol­lu­tion tar­gets, MPs will say to­day.

Af­ter years of pre­var­i­ca­tion, Cabi­net min­is­ters are ex­pected to hold talks to­day on whether to give the green light to ex­pan­sion at Heathrow.

Chan­cel­lor Ge­orge Os­borne is push­ing for ap­proval, ar­gu­ing that Heathrow is the best short-term op­tion to give Bri­tain the ex­tra air­port ca­pac­ity it needs to main­tain eco­nomic growth and com­pet­i­tive­ness.

And a re­view of air­port ca­pac­ity by former CBI chief Sir Howard Davies this year rec­om­mended build­ing a third run­way at Heathrow, rather than ex­pan­sion at Gatwick.

But the move is op­posed by a num­ber of se­nior Tories, in­clud­ing Lon­don Mayor Boris John­son, Home Sec­re­tary Theresa May, In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tary Jus­tine Green­ing and For­eign Sec­re­tary Philip Ham­mond. In a ma­jor report to­day, the cross-party Com­mons en­vi­ron­men­tal au­dit com­mit­tee is ex­pected to say that Heathrow has not yet shown its plans for a third run­way can com­ply with pol­lu­tion laws.

A source on the com­mit­tee said the report would warn that Heathrow ex­pan­sion

‘Should not go ahead’

‘should not go ahead’ un­til Heathrow can show en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions can be met.

It will also sug­gest that both the Govern­ment and Heathrow could face ‘pro­tracted le­gal dis­putes’ if they fail to demon­strate com­pli­ance, in­tro­duc­ing an ‘el­e­ment of com­mer­cial risk’ to the project.

One aviation in­dus­try source said the warn­ing could be used by min­is­ters as an ex­cuse to de­lay a fi­nal de­ci­sion un­til af­ter next year’s Lon­don may­oral elec­tion.

Tory can­di­date Zac Gold­smith has pledged to re­sign his West­min­ster seat and force an em­bar­rass­ing by-elec­tion if David Cameron goes back on his 2010 pledge to ban ex­pan­sion at Heathrow.

To­day’s report will call for a ‘step change’ in the Govern­ment’s ap­proach to lim­it­ing the im­pact that any air­port ex­pan­sion will have on the en­vi­ron­ment.

Heathrow in­sists that its plans will al­low it to meet strict le­gal lim­its on pol­lu­tion, noise and car­bon emis­sions. How­ever to­day’s report is ex­pected to raise se­ri­ous doubts about the claims.

It will ques­tion whether ex­pan­sion at Heathrow is com­pli­ant with the Govern­ment’s com­mit­ments on cli­mate change – warn­ing that even with im­proved air­craft ef­fi­ciency, the in­crease in flights could breach green­house gas emis­sions.

The com­mit­tee will also raise se­ri­ous con­cerns about the likely im­pact on pol­lu­tion in west Lon­don, say­ing that a ‘sig­nif­i­cant de­te­ri­o­ra­tion’ in air qual­ity on lo­cal roads would be un­ac­cept­able.

And MPs will call for a ban on night flights to limit the noise im­pact on mil­lions of peo­ple liv­ing un­der flight paths.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.