H&F Council vows to keep fighting third runway plans

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has vowed to keep fighting plans for a third runway at Heathrow, even if Parliament supports the scheme.

The council has said it will seek to join any legal challenge against a decision in favour of expanding the west London airport – a move the council says would subject residents to a mire of misery and pollution.

“We absolutely refuse to sit back and let such a potentially catastrophic decision be made without a fight,” said Cllr Stephen Cowan, H&F Council Leader.

“We’ve made our stance very clear; a third runway at Heathrow would mean more noise for residents already suffering noise disturbance, more pressure on our roads and an unacceptable increase in air pollution.

“If we need to take legal action, we will, as the environmental cost of meekly accepting a decision in favour of expansion, would be far worse.”

Population currently impacted by noise, over 750,000, with a third runway over 950,000. Current passenger numbers 76 million a year, with a third runway around 140 million. Current aircraft movements 475,000 a year, with a third runway at least 740,000
Image caption: Noise impacts Heathrow third runway infographic

On 5 June, the Government published a document, which, if approved by Parliament, would support plans for a third runway and effectively give the scheme outline planning permission. Parliament will soon vote on this. Once a policy supporting a third runway is adopted, Heathrow can then submit details and seek approval for its scheme under the national planning process for large infrastructure projects.

In 2014, H&F Council set up a resident-led commission to investigate the potential effects of expansion on residents’ lives. It reported back that the overall impact of Heathrow expansion would be negative, with any benefits unlikely to be felt by those in H&F.

Commission chair, Christina Smyth, blogged last week on the Government’s decision.

Speaking of the council’s announcement, she said: “Our position remains the same, we see little benefit to H&F residents from expansion at Heathrow. In fact, we’d pay a heavy price, so we’re grateful our council is prepared to fight for our interests.

“Furthermore, the most recently published Government information shows that over-development of London and the South East could act to the detriment of the regions and nations of the UK as well.

“It’s time for residents to reject the third runway once and for all, and demand that better solutions are found to the UK’s transport woes.”

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