Bore­hole noise warn­ing


Uxbridge Gazette - - News - By MARTIN ELVERY Lo­cal Democracy Re­porter

PEO­PLE liv­ing near Heathrow Air­port are fac­ing four months of noise and dis­rup­tion as more than 1,000 bore­holes are drilled into the ground to see if it is suitable for build­ing a third run­way.

Hilling­don Coun­cil has is­sued the warn­ing to res­i­dents liv­ing in the south of the bor­ough that they will have to put up with the drilling, even be­fore a de­ci­sion to ap­prove ex­pan­sion has been made by the gov­ern­ment.

The coun­cil says it has sought to pre­vent the pro­posed works on its land on be­half of res­i­dents, but its protest was over­ruled by the Sec­re­tary of State.

The coun­cil is­sued a state­ment say­ing: “There will be in­creased noise and dis­rup­tive ac­tiv­ity by Heathrow Air­port con­trac­tors work­ing on bore­hole sites on land iden­ti­fied for pos­si­ble Heathrow ex­pan­sion.”

Work was due to be­gin on April 30 and last for ap­prox­i­mately four months. It is to be car­ried out by Heathrow Air­port Lim­ited (HAL) and in­volves ground in­ves­ti­ga­tions in Har­mondsworth and Sip­son.

Coun­cil leader Ray Pud­di­foot said: “When the Sec­re­tary of State quashed our protest, the gov­ern­ment al­lowed Heathrow ac­cess to var­i­ous and vast ar­eas of Hilling­don for their ground in­ves­ti­ga­tions. These in­ves­ti­ga­tions do not re­late to any ap­proved scheme and pre­sume Heathrow will ex­pand, against all wis­dom given the dis­as­trous ef­fects this will have on noise and air qual­ity.”

The drilling does not re­quire plan­ning per­mis­sion to pro­ceed and each bore­hole will be worked on for a max­i­mum of four days.

Heathrow Air­port Lim­ited says it needs to drill the bore­holes to de­ter­mine ground con­di­tions, in­ves­ti­gate wa­ter tables and to take soil sam­ples, ad­ding that it will do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to min­imise dis­rup­tion for res­i­dents.

A spokesman said: “We are car­ry­ing out land sur­veys dur­ing of­fice hours in ar­eas around the air­port as a nec­es­sary part of pre­par­ing pro­pos­als for Heathrow’s ex­pan­sion.

“We apol­o­gise to any lo­cal res­i­dents who are af­fected by this work, and we are work­ing with our con­trac­tors to en­sure there is as lit­tle dis­rup­tion as pos­si­ble.”

It is the lat­est de­vel­op­ment in the long saga which has seen Hilling­don Coun­cil and a raft of coun­cils, cam­paign­ers and res­i­dents’ groups lobby against the build­ing of a third run­way. Many oth­ers in­sist that it must not go ahead un­less strin­gent en­vi­ron­men­tal con­trols are in­tro­duced.

Mr Pud­di­foot says Hilling­don coun­cil’s po­si­tion is to sup­port ex­pan­sion at an al­ter­na­tive site such as Gatwick, largely be­cause of the en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age and traf­fic con­ges­tion it says a third run­way would in­flict on the bor­ough.

Trans­port Sec­re­tary Chris Grayling has said that if Par­lia­ment backs a Heathrow ex­pan­sion, con­struc­tion work could be­gin at the end of Bri­tain’s EU with­drawal tran­si­tion pe­riod in De­cem­ber 2020.

In March this year, the trans­port se­lect com­mit­tee pub­lished its lon­gawaited scrutiny of the gov­ern­ment’s plans. It sup­ported the case of push­ing on with the de­vel­op­ment of a third run­way, but de­manded the gov­ern­ment re­draft its plans be­fore they are voted on in par­lia­ment.

This vote is now ex­pected in the sum­mer.

The Heathrow spokesman added: “Over the com­ing months we will be de­vel­op­ing our pre­ferred mas­ter­plan for con­sul­ta­tion next year, a process that will in­volve con­tin­u­ous en­gage­ment and in­put from key stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties.”

We apol­o­gise to any lo­cal res­i­dents that are af­fected by this work


Hilling­don coun­cil spokesman

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