Heathrow third runway

H&F Council's Leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan (far left), joins other council leaders at the High Court for the launch of our judicial review of Heathrow expansion
H&F Council's Leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan (far left), joins other council leaders at the High Court for the launch of our judicial review of Heathrow expansion

We continue to strongly oppose plans for a third runway at Heathrow.

The government has failed to address our concerns over air quality, pollution and traffic congestion that would blight our residents’ lives, causing a significant harm to health.

On 17 October 2019 we began our appeal against the High Court decision to throw out our initial legal challenge against expansion plans from May this year. Proceedings have now concluded.

We were joined in the action by the Mayor of London, Greenpeace and four other affected local authorities.

Speaking at the High Court, Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, said: “The government has chosen to deliberately ignore the huge environmental damage Heathrow’s proposed third runway will cause.

“Meanwhile, its own figures demonstrate Britain will gain a negligible return on the £18billion of taxpayers’ money the government is proposing to throw at this scheme.

“There’s plenty of greener, better initiatives that such huge sums could be spent on which would produce the economic growth our country needs.”

Letter to the government requesting review of the Airports National Poilcy Statement (pdf 4MB)

Here’s how we’ve been fighting

October 2019 - High Court appeal proceedings.

July 2019 - We win permission to launch a legal appeal to challenge plans to expand Heathrow airport.

May 2019 - The High Court throws out our joint legal challenge, but we will continue to fight the expansion plans.

March 2019 - We joined the Mayor of London, Greenpeace and neighbouring boroughs to launch a legal challenge into the government’s decision to back a third runway in the High Court.

June 2018 - Commission Chair Christina Smyth spoke on how despite the government’s backing, the fight was not yet over, the new runway was ‘undeliverable’ and that the fight would go on.

January 2015 - The commission’s final report was sent to the government’s Airports Commission. Its conclusion was that the harm would outweigh any benefits to borough residents.

2014 - We supported an independent resident-led commission - called the H&F Commission on Airport Expansion (HFCAE) - which was tasked with investigating the potential effects of an extra runway.

View the HFCAE report online

Our consultation response

We also responded to the government’s consultation, raising concerns over the fear of further blight on residents’ lives.

The consultation was submitted to the Airports Commission in February 2015.

Long-term impact

Health, noise and environmental campaigners warn the impact on the surrounding area could pose long-term risks for residents living near the airport and under the flight paths.

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
Noise impacts Heathrow third runway infographic

“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,” said Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of H&F Council.

H&F has bolstered its campaign against a third runway by joining a legal challenge with four other councils neighbouring the airport:

  • Richmond
  • Wandsworth
  • Hillingdon
  • Windsor and Maidenhead.

Details of the legal challenge will be discussed between the five councils over the summer.

Here are the latest updates in the ongoing debate:

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