Res­i­dents face a hike to get de­tails of air­port bid

MP voices in­dig­na­tion at de­ci­sion not to hold con­sul­ta­tion events in af­fected vil­lages

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Salina Pa­tel­i­tymir­

RES­I­DENTS of the Heathrow vil­lages set for de­mo­li­tion to make way for a third run­way say it is “com­pletely un­ac­cept­able” con­sul­ta­tion events on the project will not be held near them.

Peo­ple in Har­mondsworth and Long­ford whose vil­lages will be wiped out to ex­pand Heathrow Air­port with a north-west run­way are on the warpath as an MP said the “gov­ern­ment [is] hav­ing a laugh by not hold­ing a con­sul­ta­tion event in the Heathrow vil­lages”.

Trans­port sec­re­tary Chris Grayling launched a 16-week pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the gov­ern­ment’s draft Na­tional Pol­icy State­ment on Heathrow ex­pan­sion on Thurs­day. Na­tional Pol­icy State­ments set out gov­ern­ment pol­icy on na­tional in­fra­struc­ture projects.

Har­mondsworth res­i­dent Roy Bar­wick said: “I think it is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able the vil­lage of Har­mondsworth, which will be de­mol­ished and its res­i­dents evicted, should be ex­cluded as a venue for the con­sul­ta­tion by the Depart­ment for Trans­port.”

Of 20 planned ‘lo­cal’ and 13 re­gional con­sul­ta­tion events, none will take place in Har­mondsworth, Long­ford, neigh­bour­ing Sip­son or Har­ling­ton, which would be at the end of a new run­way.

In­stead the two bor­ough events will be held in a com­mu­nity cen­tre in Uxbridge and West Dray­ton.

The out­rage has riled MP for Hayes and Har­ling­ton John McDon­nell, who will be or­gan­is­ing pub­lic meet­ings across the con­stituency in com­ing weeks to en­sure peo­ple are fully in­formed about the con­sul­ta­tion process.

Mr McDon­nell, said: “Quite frankly, the gov­ern­ment [is] hav­ing a laugh by not hold­ing a con­sul­ta­tion event in the Heathrow vil­lages.

“My con­stituents face los­ing their homes, schools, com­mu­nity cen­tre and vil­lage if this run­way goes ahead. Ev­ery con­sul­ta­tion on air­port ex­pan­sion at Heathrow over the last decade has told us what we al­ready know; a third run­way is un­de­liv­er­able be­cause of air pol­lu­tion, noise and cli­mate change con­cerns.”

Jackie Clark-Bas­ten, chair­man of the Stop Heathrow Ex­pan­sion pres­sure group, said the lack of vil­lage con­sul­ta­tion events is a “dis­grace”. “Res­i­dents face hav­ing to at­tend an event in West Dray­ton, mak­ing mul­ti­ple bus trips as nei­ther Long­ford or Har­ling­ton have any bus links to this lo­ca­tion,” said Ms Clarke-Bas­ten. “Pre­vi­ous con­sul­ta­tions have in­cluded events for those who would lose their homes.”

For more on the planned con­sul­ta­tion,

THIRD run­way plans at Heathrow reached a mile­stone as the gov­ern­ment launched a four month pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion to­day.

The pro­pos­als are out­lined in a draft air­ports na­tional pol­icy state­ment (NPS) which sets out the need for ad­di­tional air­port ca­pac­ity and rea­sons why the gov­ern­ment be­lieves a north-west run­way at Heathrow is the best op­tion.

Trans­port sec­re­tary Chris Grayling has high­lighted the im­por­tance of a new run­way to the post-Brexit econ­omy, but the pro­posal con­tin­ues to at­tract wide-spread crit­i­cism.

He said: “Leav­ing the EU is a new chap­ter for Bri­tain and pro­vides us with a great op­por­tu­nity to forge a new role in the world. We are de­ter­mined to seize that op­por­tu­nity and hav­ing the right in­fra­struc­ture in place will al­low us to build a more global Bri­tain.”

The state­ment places a num­ber of con­di­tions that must be met by Heathrow:

Six do­mes­tic routes to be added across the UK by 2030.

Com­pen­sa­tion to com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by the ex­pan­sion in­clud­ing noise in­su­la­tion for homes and schools.

Hon­our its com­mit­ment to pay home own­ers 25% above mar­ket value plus costs for homes which are com­pul­sory pur­chased.

Mea­sures to mit­i­gate the im­pact of noise in­clud­ing a ban on sched­uled night flights for six-and-a-half hours.

Get more than half of air­port users onto pub­lic trans­port to meet its pledge of no more air­port-re­lated road traf­fic with ex­pan­sion.

Im­ple­ment mea­sures to limit car­bon and air qual­ity im­pacts dur­ing con­struc­tion and oper­a­tion.

Prove the scheme can be de­liv­ered within the le­gal re­quire­ments on air qual­ity.

Six UK air­ports set to be served by Heathrow fol­low­ing the open­ing of a third run­way have been named.

The Depart­ment for Trans­port said it “ex­pects” Belfast In­ter­na­tional, Liver­pool, Newquay, Hum­ber­side, Prest­wick and Durham Tees Val­ley to be added to the west Lon­don hub’s do­mes­tic net­work by 2030.

Heathrow ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor for ex­pan­sion, Emma Gilthorpe, said: “The launch of the gov­ern­ment’s na­tional pol­icy state­ment con­sul­ta­tion is an im­por­tant mile­stone in the de­liv­ery of Heathrow’s ex­pan­sion plans.

“We look for­ward to work­ing with the gov­ern­ment, our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and our airlines through­out this con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod to en­sure Heathrow ex­pan­sion is af­ford­able and ben­e­fits all of Bri­tain.”

MP for Eal­ing Southall Viren­dra Sharma added: “The need for ad­di­tional air­port ca­pac­ity has be­come even more crit­i­cal fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion to leave the Euro­pean Union.

“Heathrow ex­pan­sion will pro­vide un­ri­valled con­nec­tiv­ity to new and emerg­ing mar­kets, boost­ing in­ter­na­tional trade and ce­ment­ing Lon­don’s role as a true out­ward-look­ing global city.

“Heathrow’s new plan for ex­pan­sion can be de­liv­ered re­spon­si­bly with clear safe­guards in place, it has the po­ten­tial to erad­i­cate lo­cal youth un­em­ploy­ment, it will de­liver the skills re­quired to build and op­er­ate the ex­panded air­port, and it is one that I along with a ma­jor­ity of con­stituents sup­port.”

A Back Heathrow spokesman added: “It is fan­tas­tic that the gov­ern­ment is forg­ing ahead with plans for a new Heathrow run­way.

“This news will be wel­comed by huge num­bers of lo­cal peo­ple near the air­port be­cause they know that ex­pan­sion will bring new jobs and greater pros­per­ity to the area.

“We urge ev­ery­one who backs this na­tion­ally im­por­tant project to make sure the gov­ern­ment hears their views.”

Mean­while cam­paign group HACAN has urged min­is­ters to “be bold enough” to re­ject the ad­di­tional run­way if the con­sul­ta­tion re­veals ‘real prob­lems’ with the pro­posal.

HACAN chair­man, John Ste­wart, said: “There is no way that a quar­ter of a mil­lion ex­tra planes a year can­not but have a se­vere im­pact on many peo­ple’s lives. A third run­way will also mean the de­mo­li­tion of many homes and could add to Lon­don’s air pol­lu­tion prob­lems.

“The gov­ern­ment must be even-handed in as­sess­ing the con­sul­ta­tion and re­ject a third run­way if, as we be­lieve, its down­sides are sim­ply too high.”

Jackie Clark-Bas­ten, chair­man of Stop Heathrow Ex­pan­sion, said: “The gov­ern­ment says they are “cre­at­ing an econ­omy that works for ev­ery­one”, but it cer­tainly wouldn’t work for us, or in­deed for many other peo­ple around the UK, if a third run­way were al­lowed to go ahead.

“The stark re­al­ity is that while our com­mu­nity would be de­stroyed, the lo­cal road net­work at a stand­still and our air qual­ity toxic, com­mu­ni­ties in other parts of the UK con­tinue to feel left be­hind by the gov­ern­ment’s ob­ses­sion with spend­ing money on one air­port in Lon­don.

“The con­se­quences would be felt far and wide.”

A fi­nal Na­tional Pol­icy State­ment is ex­pected to be voted on by Par­lia­ment in win­ter 2017/18 and if ap­proved will be­come a gov­ern­ment pol­icy.

If the project is given the green light, next year Heathrow will draw up de­tailed plans for the new run­way for con­sul­ta­tion which will go to a plan­ning in­quiry in 2019.

The run­way is not ex­pected to get fi­nal ap­proval un­til 2020 or 2021 and will not be op­er­a­tional un­til around 2025.

A sec­ond con­sul­ta­tion has also been launched by the gov­ern­ment on changes to airspace with the chance more com­mu­ni­ties will come un­der a flight path.

Both con­sul­ta­tions close on May 27 2017.

VIL­LAGE FURY: their com­mu­ni­ties. Res­i­dents of the vil­lages that would be bull­dozed for a third run­way at heathrow are fu­ri­ous con­sul­ta­tion events on the pos­si­ble ex­pan­sion will not be held in Pic­ture: Jack tay­lor/Getty Im­ages

CON­SUL­TA­TION: Above, the CGI vi­sion of the third run­way; (left) Trans­port Sec­re­tary Chris Grayling

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