Residents are being asked yet again to give their views on proposals to expand Heathrow Airport with a third runway.
The new public consultation from Heathrow Airport Limited, which owns and runs the airport, includes a drop-in event at Hammersmith Town Hall in King Street on Tuesday 20 February from noon until 8pm.
The consultation has drawn criticism for asking for residents’ views on how the expanded airport might look, when the Government is yet to make a final decision on airport expansion.
“Heathrow have put the cart before the horse by asking residents for their views on how the airport might look at ground level when we don’t yet know for sure a third runway will even be built there,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents’ Services.
Fighting the plans
In October 2016, the Government announced that a new runway at Heathrow would be its preferred scheme to increase airport capacity in the south east.
However, Hammersmith & Fulham Council has, along with many boroughs neighbouring the airport, continued to fight these plans, citing unacceptable harm to residents’ health and wellbeing from increased traffic, and air and noise pollution.
In November 2014, H&F Council set-up the resident-led Hammersmith & Fulham Commission on Airport Expansion (HFCAE), chaired by local resident, Christina Smyth.
The commission was asked to look at the local impact of airport expansion and heard evidence from local residents and businesses, before submitting a report with its recommendations to the UK Airports Commission.
The report concluded that negative effects on the borough from expansion would outweigh the positive benefits.
New flight path designs
Heathrow are also seeking residents’ views on how airspace and flight paths should be designed in the future, which raises concerns because it could result in aircraft noise being concentrated over those homes already affected, or spread out to affect new communities.
The council considers Heathrow is already too noisy for too many residents and the airport should focus on minimising the noise pollution and reducing the number of people affected.
Adding 250,000 extra flights a year by building a third runway would mean residents would have even less respite from the noise.
Have your say
“We know residents have been asked countless times for their views on these proposals, but we have to call on them again to take part in this consultation and make sure their voice is heard,” added Cllr Harcourt.
“The Government’s own evidence compiled for its National Policy Statement on airports has shown that an extra runway at Gatwick provides better economic benefits, lower community impacts, and would cost less to build.”
If you can’t attend the consultation event in Hammersmith, residents can take part by visiting the Heathrow consultation website.
The deadline for responding to the consultation is 11.55pm on 28 March 2018.