Council presented with Heathrow expansion findings

The findings of an investigation into the potential impact of a new runway at Heathrow Airport on the borough will be debated in public next week.

The H&F Commission on Airport Expansion (HFCAE), comprised of residents with the backing of H&F Council, reviewed the shortlisted options for increasing airport capacity proposed by the Airports Commission's final consultation. Its draft response will be heard by H&F's Community Safety, Environment and Residents' Services Policy and Accountability Committee, when it meets at the town hall on Tuesday January 13.

The HFCAE has focussed on the two expansion options proposed for Heathrow as those would have the most impact on borough residents.

Its report is particularly concerned with the uncertainty over flight path locations, the fact that noise assessments covered large areas rendering local impacts uncertain and also the lack of analysis on traffic and air quality impacts on the borough. Proposed mitigations are also unclear.

Any expansion at Heathrow will lead to increased flight numbers, increased flight paths over the borough and, potentially, increased noise for residents. However, it identifies potential benefits from mitigation and calls for these to be delivered as soon as possible, with or without Heathrow expansion.

The report concludes that, although there would be some economic benefits from expansion, the outweighing concerns led a majority of residents who expressed an opinion to HFCAE to oppose the plans.

HFCAE chair and longstanding Hammersmith resident, Christina Smyth, said: "The Hammersmith & Fulham Commission concluded that, while there will be some economic benefits and increased travel opportunities, a new runway at Heathrow would be bad for residents with regards to aircraft noise, safety, public transport, traffic, air quality and health."

Committee chair, Cllr Larry Culhane, said: "More information on specific local impacts, such as the location of proposed flight paths, should have been provided as part of the national Davies review for a proper consultation to take place. But we do know that borough residents already suffer from poor air quality, traffic jams and sleepless nights, and these are almost certain to get worse with any expansion. That is why most residents have said they don't want Heathrow to expand.

"I look forward to hearing the results of the Commission in detail next week and discussing how the Council can support local residents on this issue."

The meeting will take place in the Courtyard Room at Hammersmith Town Hall at 7pm. Residents are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The full draft report and committee agenda can be viewed on the council's website here.

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