‘a kick in the teeth for residents under the flight path’
HACAN ClearSkies, representing residents under the Heathrow flight path, condemned the Government’s decision to appeal against the recommendation from the European Court of Human Rights to ban night flights at Heathrow (1) as ‘a kick in the teeth for residents under the flight path’. HACAN ClearSkies pointed to the irony that the announcement was made just hours before the Government released its National Noise Strategy for consultation (2).
The residents group accused two government departments of putting out conflicting messages on the same day: DEFRA (the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is issuing the Noise Strategy while Stephen Byer’s DTLR (Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions) is appealing against a major European ruling.
John Stewart, Chair of HACAN ClearSkies, said, “This decision is a huge disappointment for residents under the Heathrow flight path. To say that it is against the spirit of Christmas is a massive understatement. It is hugely ironic that the announcement was made only hours before the Government published its National Noise Strategy aimed at cutting noise from aircraft, traffic and industrial premises. It raises the question of whether the Strategy is a serious attempt to cut noise or merely a flight of fancy.”
Notes to Editors
On October 2nd th European Court of Human Rights overwhelmingly backed the Heathrow residents in the case they brought against the British Government over the 16 night flights into Heathrow. The Court found that a decent night’s sleep was a human right. It also found that the Government had failed to come up, as required by the court, with any economic justification for taking away that human right. The Court had asked the Government to come up with evidence to show that the night flights into Heathrow were of such importance to the British economy that they justifies depriving people of a good night’s sleep.
Environment Minister launches the 3 month consultation on the Government’s Ambient Noise Strategy today. It covers noise from traffic, aircraft and some industrial sources. It will require local authorities to draw up noise maps for their areas and then to produce action plans to show how they will deal with the noisiest areas.
For more information contact John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957 385650.