Communities face ‘a tsunami of noise’ as cabinet backs third runway
5/6/18 for immediate use
A leading campaign group said that many communities would face ‘a tsunami of noise’ if a third runway went ahead at Heathrow. On the day the Cabinet gave its official backing to a new runway HACAN, the long-established residents’ group which opposes Heathrow expansion, said that ‘many people’s lives would be changed forever’ as a result of the noise from the 700 extra planes a day that would use the airport if a third runway is built.
Parliament will be required to vote on the Airports National Policy Statement (1), which sets out plans for a third runway, within 21 days. Most Conservatives are expected to back the plans. The Labour Party is divided on the issue. A number of leading members of the shadow cabinet such as John McDonnell, Emily Thornberry and Diane Abbot have a long history of opposing a third runway but it is backed by many MPs outside London who believe it will improve connectivity to their areas. The Liberal Democrats oppose the new runway but it is supported by the DUP and the Scottish National Party, though the latter may be reluctant to vote with the Conservatives.
The National Policy Statement, laid before Parliament today by transport secretary Chris Grayling, also set out a number of binding conditions which Heathrow would need to adhere to. These included a six and a half hour night ban, up from five hours at present; strict air pollution limits; improved compensation for local residents; and tough powers for the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure the costs of the third runway do not become excessive.
HACAN chair John Stewart said, “This is a bad day for residents. Many communities will face a tsunami of noise if a third runway goes ahead. Many people who will be under new flights paths will find their lives changed forever. We will continue to oppose a new runway but, obviously, if it becomes inevitable, we will fight for the best conditions possible for residents.”
A number of local authorities are expected to challenge any Parliamentary vote for a third runway in the courts.
If Parliament backs a third runway, it becomes Government policy and Heathrow will start drawing up its detailed plans. It expects these to be put out to public consultation next year and to be laid before a planning inquiry in 2020. If the plans are approved, it hopes to start building the runway in 2021 and open it in 2025.
Notes for editors
(1). Link to the National Policy Statement – https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/proposed-heathrow-expansion
For more information:
John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650