Hammersmith & Fulham Council is calling on the government not to cause misery for residents by expanding Heathrow after the scheme was backed by a controversial report into airport capacity.
The Davies Commission recommended a third runway at the airport today (Wednesday July 1). It says the third runway should only go ahead with a number of conditions but H&F Council Leader Cllr Stephen Cowan said these do not go anywhere near far enough.
Cllr Cowan said: “We carried out a resident-led, evidence-based review both for and against expansion. The resident-chaired review found Heathrow expansion would have an adverse impact overall. We’re urging the government to listen to H&F’s and many other west London residents and come forward with a better option than the Davies Commission has proposed.
“The borough’s resident-led commission into Heathrow highlighted how many of our residents already have their sleep shattered by aircraft noise and it would put extra pressure on our roads and increase air pollution. No amount of mitigation could make this acceptable.”
“We are urging the government not to support proposals which would be a nightmare for residents and make no financial sense.”
H&F Council set up a resident-led commission which reported back earlier this year and found Heathrow expansion would be bad news for residents.
Chair, Christina Smyth, said: “For Hammersmith & Fulham the findings of the local residents commission was the overall impact of a third runway would be adverse.
“The risk is that the residents of H&F will pay a heavy price for benefits which are largely elsewhere.”
The borough’s resident-led commission said Heathrow expansion would mean either many more flights over the heads of residents under current flight paths or new paths opened up above residents currently unaffected. It said there was far too little detail available for residents to feel properly informed.
It also found that it was not possible to rely on replacing aircraft with newer, quieter models to bring noise down to acceptable levels as is often claimed.
The Davies Commission admits expanding Heathrow would mean many more people affected by noise compared to expanding Gatwick. Heathrow expansion would mean an extra 250,000 flights a year and doubling passenger numbers to 150 million.
Heathrow’s expansion would cost at least £17.6 billion compared to Gatwick’s £9.3bn and costs are expected to rise. Transport for London has said it would cost another £17bn to create the necessary transport links for an expanded Heathrow.
The government is not bound by the Davies Commission’s recommendations and is expected to publish a formal response in September.
H&F is part of the 2M Group, made up of 20 local authorities against Heathrow expansion.
Read more information on Heathrow and H&F’s resident-led commission.