Hope for Heathrow de­feat

Open day high­lights threat to an­cient vil­lage

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

HAR­MONDSWORTH vil­lagers staged an open day to show what would be de­stroyed if a third run­way at Heathrow goes ahead.

Res­i­dents of the an­cient vil­lage were joined by prospec­tive par­lia­men­tary can­di­dates for Hayes & Har­ling­ton on Sun­day April 12 in an event or­gan­ised by Stop Heathrow Ex­pan­sion (SHE) and Friends of the Great Barn.

John McDon­nell, Labour can­di­date for Hayes & Har­ling­ton, said: “I am con­fi­dent that we can de­feat the threat of a third run­way once again and once and for all.

“The Har­mondsworth open day demon­strated what a beau­ti­ful vil­lage would be lost if the third

The Uxbridge Gazette Se­ries run­way went ahead.”

Green can­di­date Alick Munro added: “As a GP with pa­tients in Har­ling­ton I am daily made aware of the ef­fects of air pol­lu­tion. About one in three of my pa­tients asks for help to cope with their cough, even although the preva­lence of smok­ing in the area is low. Ni­tric ox­ide and small par­ti­cle pol­lu­tion from traf­fic fumes are well known to make runny noses and itchy eyes worse and ag­gra­vate the re­sults of lung func­tion tests.”

UKIP’s Cliff Dixon said the res­i­dents of Hilling­don “over­whelm­ingly re­jected” the project in a ref­er­en­dum and said it was time for the gov­ern­ment and Heathrow to lis­ten to the peo­ple.

A fo­cus of the event was the re-open­ing of the 15th Cen­tury Great Barn for the first time since the com­ple­tion of ma­jor re­pairs by English Her­itage.

Poet Sir John Bet­je­man, who spoke to vis­i­tors at the event, de­scribed the barn as “the cathe­dral of Mid­dle­sex”, which was saved from de­vel­op­ers by the in­ter­ven­tion of a group of determined vil­lagers.

Neil Kev­eren, chair of Stop Heathrow Ex­pan­sion, (SHE) said: “This is a chance for us to show to the world that we are ut­terly determined to fight for our homes and our com­mu­nity. We will not be go­ing any­where else.”

The event in­cluded the un­veil­ing of a gi­ant mu­ral on Cam­bridge Close, es­pe­cially cre­ated for the open day, to il­lus­trate the pro­posed air­port bound­ary cut­ting through the vil­lage.

Mr Kev­eren added: “We are thank­ful for the back­ing we have re­ceived from Hilling­don Coun­cil and from Harts, the com­mu­nity arts project.”

As well as dis­play­ing the mu­ral, SHE and HARTS set up a treeplant­ing project in the Heathrow Vil­lages, with the first tree planted in Har­mondsworth Recre­ation Ground on the day.

Sec­ond World War RAF vet­eran Tommy Thomas, 93, who is one of the old­est res­i­dents of the vil­lage, was cho­sen to plant the oak tree.

As well as the oak, nine new trees now form a tri­an­gu­lar grove just south of Har­mondsworth pri­mary school.

The

Air­ports Com­mis­sion has been ex­am­in­ing po­ten­tial sites for new run­ways in the South East and is ex­pected to pub­lish its fi­nal re­port in June.

SHE hopes to take the can­vas on its fold­ing frame to var­i­ous lo­ca­tions be­fore the Davies Com­mis­sion an­nounces its rec­om­men­da­tion.

n DETERMINED: Har­mondsworth vil­lagers stage a Stop Heathrow Ex­pan­sion event. Above, Tommy Thomas plants an oak tree Pho­tos by Jonathan Goldberg

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