Cam­paign­ers put plas­tic run­way on gar­den of Heathrow boss

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­

PO­LICE were called af­ter Heathrow vil­lagers took their mes­sage of “no third run­way” to the homes of se­nior air­port bosses.

Res­i­dents against Ex­pan­sion, from Har­mondsworth, Sip­son and Har­ling­ton, un­furled a plas­tic run­way out­side the home of Matt Gor­man, Heathrow Air­port’s Di­rec­tor of Sus­tain­abil­ity and En­vi­ron­ment, in Hen­leyon-Thames.

Chris­tine Tay­lor, a cam­paigner whose home in Har­ling­ton will ef­fec­tively be lost un­der a third run­way, said: “He had ‘Proud to Back Heathrow’ stick­ers and posters and clearly wants an ex­pan­sion so I thought he’d quite en­joy a lit­tle plas­tic run­way.

“So we rolled it into his gar­den and caused min­i­mal dis­rup­tion. We just had a few calls of no third run­way be­fore we rolled up the run­way and left.

“If we came with dig­gers, and tar­ma­cked his house and built a run­way on his back fence, which is what he wants to do to houses in Har­mondswoth and Sip­son, I could un­der­stand if he was up­set.

“It put our ar­gu­ments into a hu­man di­men­sion – these are real peo­ple. I think if he hasn’t learnt a les­son, he’d have to be to­tally in­sen­si­tive and ig­no­rant.”

Mr Gor­man, who was home dur­ing the stunt on Bank Hol­i­day Mon­day, re­mon­strated with protesters as neigh­bours gath­ered to watch.

A Heathrow spokesper­son, said af­ter­wards: “We can con­firm that a group of peo­ple staged a protest at the home of a Heathrow col­league over the Bank Hol­i­day week­end.

“The po­lice were called in line with nor­mal pro­ce­dures and when they ar­rived the protesters dis­persed.”

Res­i­dents set off on their ‘Heathrow Home­less Coach Tour’ from Har­mondsworth Vil­lage.

As well as doorstep­ping Mr Gor­man, the bus stopped at the large fourbed­room ad­dress of Heathrow CEO John Hol­land-Kaye, in Ox­ford.

Dis­cov­er­ing the prop­erty was be­ing ren­o­vated, Ms Tay­lor added: “It was par­tic­u­larly galling to see, when peo­ple are strug­gling along in a lit­tle house, where we’d like to ex­tend but the house may have no fu­ture.

“He’s got quite a lot of room, he could house a few of us in there. I’ve got my suit­case ready.

“So if he wants to in­vite us back to live there in his nice, quiet, leafy street that he lives in, far away from air­craft noise, I’d be the first one on a coach to go.”

Res­i­dents brought a suit­case to high­light the plight of thou­sands of peo­ple who could be forced to look for al­ter­na­tive places to live.

The tour also in­cluded Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron’s con­stituency of­fice in Wit­ney, Ox­ford­shire.

Har­mondsworth res­i­dent Armelle Thomas, 69, was pho­tographed clutch­ing an old pho­to­graph of her re­cently de­ceased hus­band Tommy, an RAF ser­vice­man in the Sec­ond World War who died on Au­gust 25.

Armelle was de­ter­mined to join the coach party to voice her dis­gust that her hus­band’s last months had been made a mis­ery by the news that Sir Howard Davies had rec­om­mended Heathrow and the de­struc­tion of their long­time home.

Heathrow’s spokesman said in re­sponse: “Our plan has lo­cal res­i­dents’ views and the en­vi­ron­ment at its core. And it will cre­ate up to 180,000 jobs and £211bn of eco­nomic growth across the coun­try.

“That’s why it has so much sup­port this time from busi­nesses, busi­ness groups, politi­cians, air­ports, air­lines and a ma­jor­ity of lo­cal res­i­dents.”

n MAK­ING A POINT: Har­mondsworth res­i­dents Veron­ica Rum­sey and Armelle Thomas stand on the run­way at John Hol­land-Kaye’s Ox­ford home. Left, a makeshift run­way rolled out on to Matt Gor­man’s drive

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