Coun­cil ridicules Heathrow’s claims

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

HILLING­DON Coun­cil will write to the Air­ports Com­mis­sion to say the plans for ex­pand­ing Heathrow are flawed.

The coun­cil cabi­net ap­proved its con­sul­ta­tion re­sponse on Jan­uary 22.

The re­sponse in­cludes a re­port on the im­pact ex­pan­sion would have on the health and qual­ity of life of nearby res­i­dents. It says ex­pan­sion would re­quire ‘the de­mo­li­tion of com­mu­ni­ties, com­pro­mise health-based air qual­ity and cause wide­spread ad­verse im­pacts of air­craft noise pol­lu­tion across more peo­ple than all of the other Euro­pean hub air­ports put to­gether.’ Coun­cil­lor Ray Pud­di­foot, leader of the coun­cil, said: “Heathrow Air­port’s pro­pos­als are full of hol­low prom­ises and gap­ing holes, lack­ing any re­al­is­tic as­sess­ment of the im­pact Heathrow ex­pan­sion would have on our com­mu­nity. It beg­gars be­lief in­creased noise, height­ened flood risk, public trans­port pres­sures and re­duc­tion of air qual­ity – not to men­tion the trauma of up­root­ing fam­i­lies who have lived lo­cally for decades – are glossed over. We are also con­cerned the so-called eco­nomic benefits of ex­pand­ing this air­port do not stand up to scru­tiny.”

He added: “The re­cent ac­tiv­i­ties of Heathrow and its PR ma­chine have demon­strated nei­ther they nor their sur­vey re­sults can be taken se­ri­ously.”

The com­mis­sion has been tasked with iden­ti­fy­ing the best so­lu­tion for in­creas­ing flight ca­pac­ity in the South East. The three op­tions be­ing con­sid­ered are build­ing a third run­way at Heathrow, ex­tend­ing one of Heathrow’s run­ways and build­ing an­other run­way at Gatwick.

The con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod ended yes­ter­day (Tues­day). The com­mis­sion will pub­lish its fi­nal rec­om­men­da­tions in the sum­mer.

A Heathrow Air­port spokes­woman said: “The Air­ports Com­mis­sion has con­firmed only Heathrow can connect Bri­tain to global growth, de­liv­er­ing up to £211 bil­lion to the econ­omy and 180,000 jobs, in­clud­ing 41,000 lo­cally, while re­duc­ing noise. We will work with schools, col­leges and unions to give young peo­ple in the area train­ing and op­por­tu­ni­ties, dou­bling the num­ber of ap­pren­tice­ships to 10,000.

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