Sup­port ex­pands


Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by QASIM PERACHA qasim.peracha@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @qasim­per­acha

AF­TER favourable re­sults in a re­cent sur­vey of lo­cal res­i­dents, Heathrow Air­port has an­nounced de­tails of its next third run­way con­sul­ta­tion.

The Pop­u­lus sur­vey pub­lished this month re­vealed that lo­cal sup­port for ex­pan­sion of Heathrow has in­creased by 6%, while op­po­si­tion has fallen by 1%. The sur­vey was the first to poll lo­cal res­i­dents since par­lia­ment voted to give per­mis­sion for the air­port to build a third run­way to the north­west of the cur­rent air­field.

Vo­cal op­po­si­tion to the air­port’s plans over sev­eral years has high­lighted noise and air pol­lu­tion, trans­port and de­struc­tion of houses and com­mu­ni­ties as rea­sons not to build an­other run­way in the densely pop­u­lated area around the air­port.

How­ever, Heathrow di­rectly em­ploys a largely lo­cal work­force of 78,000 peo­ple and sus­tains many more jobs in re­lated busi­nesses in the area.

Dif­fer­ent ar­eas around the air­port dif­fer in their sup­port for ex­pan­sion.

Pop­u­lus polled a to­tal of 12,537 adults in 15 con­stituen­cies lo­cal to Heathrow Air­port by tele­phone between July 5 2018 and Septem­ber 3 2018.

At least 833 res­i­dents from each of the fol­low­ing par­lia­men­tary con­stituen­cies were in­ter­viewed for the study – Maiden­head, Spelthorne, Brent­ford & Isle­worth, Feltham & He­ston, Wind­sor, Uxbridge & South Ruis­lip, Slough, Esher & Wal­ton, Hayes & Har­ling­ton, Bea­cons­field, Eal­ing Cen­tral & Ac­ton, Eal­ing North, Eal­ing Southall, Rich­mond Park and Twick­en­ham.

Within the five con­stit-

uen­cies sur­round­ing Heathrow Air­port, Eal­ing Southall has the strong­est sup­port for the run­way, com­ing in at 62% of those polled.

In ad­di­tion, 40% of all of those polled were strongly in sup­port of the air­port’s con­struc­tion. Southall is just a few miles from the air­port, which is a ma­jor em­ployer in the area.

Eal­ing Southall MP Viren­dra Sharma is a vo­cal sup­porter of the air­port’s ex­pan­sion plans.

The low­est sup­port was in Rich­mond (33%), fol­lowed by Twick­en­ham with (37%) and Brent­ford and Isle­worth and Uxbridge and South Ruis­lip, both with 44%.

Of the con­stituen­cies polled, Rich­mond had the big­gest op­po­si­tion for third run­way con­struc­tion at 51%, while 36% of those polled strongly op­posed the run­way.

Rich­mond Coun­cil is one of four which, along with the Mayor of Lon­don Sadiq Khan and Green­peace, have

launched a le­gal chal­lenge in the High Court against Par­lia­ment’s de­ci­sion.

Hilling­don Coun­cil, which in­cludes the en­tirety of Heathrow Air­port in its bound­aries, is also a part of the le­gal ac­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­sults of the sur­vey, sup­port for Heathrow is at 56% among men in the 15 con­stituen­cies, com­pared with 43% among women.

The find­ings are re­in­forced at the other end, with 26% of men op­posed to the ex­pan­sion, while 36% of women are op­posed.

Heathrow Air­port says that even those op­posed to the ex­pan­sion will be able to have a say in the way

the air­port is ex­panded, in a new con­sul­ta­tion set to launch in the new year.

The first con­sul­ta­tion was car­ried out ear­lier this year by Heathrow, ahead of the vote, and helped iden­tify the top op­tions for run­way length and place­ment, as well as is­sues in­clud­ing the to­tal over­haul of the M25’s western re­gion and the lo­ca­tions of ter­mi­nals, roads and car parks.

The sec­ond con­sul­ta­tion will be closely fol­lowed by a third and fi­nal pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion, in June 2019, af­ter which plan­ning per­mis­sion will be ob­tained for the projects.

Emma Gilthorpe, ex­ec­u­tive

direc­tor of ex­pan­sion, said: “This polling shows that thou­sands of lo­cal peo­ple recog­nise the ben­e­fits ex­pan­sion will bring, in­clud­ing jobs and ap­pren­tice­ships, and the steps we have taken to de­liver growth sus­tain­ably.

“It also shows we have more work to do to as­sure our neigh­bours we have plans to ad­dress the neg­a­tive im­pacts of a third run­way.

“Next year’s con­sul­ta­tions will be an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity for our neigh­bours to speak to us di­rectly, so they can help shape and im­prove our ex­pan­sion plans and de­liver an ex­panded Heathrow we can all be proud of.”

Par­lia­ment has given the go-ahead for a new third run­way at Heathrow Air­port

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