Heathrow ex­pan­sion takes off

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

A THIRD runway at Heathrow Air­port has been given the go-ahead by the Cab­i­net, Transport Sec­re­tary Chris Grayling an­nounced on Tues­day.

The project was ap­proved at a meet­ing of min­is­ters on the Cab­i­net’s eco­nomic sub-com­mit­tee.

Mr Grayling told the Com­mons: “To­day I am lay­ing be­fore Par­lia­ment our fi­nal pro­posal for an Air­ports Na­tional Pol­icy State­ment (NPS), which sig­nals our com­mit­ment to se­cur­ing global con­nec­tiv­ity, cre­at­ing tens of thou­sands of lo­cal jobs and ap­pren­tice­ships, and boost­ing our econ­omy for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions by ex­pand­ing Heathrow Air­port.”

He added: “My depart­ment has met with lo­cal res­i­dents and fully un­der­stands their strength of feeling, but this is a de­ci­sion taken in the na­tional in­ter­est and based on de­tailed ev­i­dence.”

The Govern­ment set out its sup­port for a third runway in a Na­tional Pol­icy State­ment (NPS), which will be pub­lished now it has been ap­proved by the Cab­i­net. A vote must then be held in the Com­mons within 21 sit­ting days.

The air­port still needs to pub­lish de­tailed ex­pan­sion plans, which will be sub­jected to a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion and a plan­ning in­quiry.

It hopes to re­ceive fi­nal plan­ning per­mis­sion and be­gin con­struc­tion in 2021.

Speak­ing after the an­nounce­ment, Hillingdon Labour Group’s leader Cllr Peter Curl­ing said all po­lit­i­cal par­ties across the bor­ough are united in their op­po­si­tion of the third runway plans.

He said: “It comes as no real sur­prise to me that this govern­ment has de­cided to push ahead with Heath- row ex­pan­sion, de­spite fig­ures within their own party strongly op­pos­ing it.

“The po­lit­i­cal par­ties across Hillingdon are united in our op­po­si­tion to a third runway and we will work to­gether with res­i­dents how­ever we can to voice and demon­strate this op­po­si­tion. Peo­ple’s homes and com­mu­ni­ties face be­ing de­stroyed, not to mention in­creased noise, con­ges­tion and pol­lu­tion in the area.

“We stand by our com­mit­ment to a bet­ter Heathrow, not a big­ger one.”

Le­gal ac­tion is likely fol­low­ing Cab­i­net ap­proval, with many res­i­dents’ and en­vi­ron­men­tal groups op­posed to the runway over con­cerns about noise and emis­sions.

They are ex­pected to launch a High Court chal­lenge on the grounds that the Govern­ment’s de­ci­sion to sup­port the scheme is un­law­ful.

Speak­ing out in sup­port of the plans, Con­fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish In­dus­try deputy direc­tor-gen­eral Josh Hardie said: “It’s fan­tas­tic that the new runway at Heathrow is get­ting closer to take-off.

“All the more so as the United Kingdom has waited for nearly half a cen­tury for this de­ci­sion.

“Ex­pand­ing our avi­a­tion capacity, and cre­at­ing new flight routes to rapidly grow­ing mar­kets, is mission crit­i­cal to en­sur­ing Britain can com­pete on the post-Brexit world stage.

“The new air links the runway will cre­ate will un­lock growth and help cre­ate jobs at home, and en­able more busi­nesses – es­pe­cially our many in­no­va­tive and am­bi­tious small and medium-sized ones – to ex­port their goods and ser­vices to boom­ing mar­kets.

“Our avi­a­tion capacity is set to run out as early as 2025, so it’s cru­cial we get spades in the ground as soon as pos­si­ble. From Southamp­ton to the Shet­lands, firms in all parts of the UK will be looking to their MPs to ap­prove the na­tional pol­icy state­ment, giv­ing a timely vote of con­fi­dence in Global Britain’s fu­ture.”

Rob Barn­stone, Co­or­di­na­tor of the No 3 Runway Coalition, added: “By mak­ing this de­ci­sion, the govern­ment have failed peo­ple and our en­vi­ron­ment.

“They have failed peo­ple by sub­ject­ing over 2.2m Lon­don­ers to new air­craft noise with Heathrow ex­pan­sion, failed work­ers by supporting a short term, low qual­ity job cre­ation scheme with no real long-last­ing ben­e­fits and failed tax­pay­ers by agree­ing a bailout plan with Heathrow should it fail later.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.