Maidenhead issues highlighted at festival
Residents in the Prime Minister's Maidenhead constituency have the chance this weekend to ask anti-runway campaigners at the Maidenhead Festival how Heathrow expansion will impact their area.
Stop Heathrow Expansion decided to set up a stall on Saturday and Sunday, 22nd and 23rd July, after people living in Maidenhead and the surrounding area contacted the group with questions about the proposals, which are currently supported by government. The event in Kidwells Park is free to the public and opens at 10am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday until 4pm, with additional entertainment and fireworks in the evening.
A serious concern is the loss of Green Belt land to make way for housing. Windsor and Maidenhead are already under pressure to provide more housing but there will be further demands for new properties to be built if a third runway goes ahead. Loss of Green Belt is inevitable unless residents protest.
The Airports Commission determined that an additional 5,000 homes would be needed in each of 14 boroughs from West London to Surrey, which are not yet in any borough plan. (See letters page on this website.) These homes will be needed primarily to accommodate the people who would come into the areas around Heathrow looking for airport-related work. However, it is often forgotten that the loss of habitable homes in the villages to the north of Heathrow is likely to result in around 10,000 people being displaced. Many would want to keep close to friends, family and jobs - if they can afford to do so.
Affordable housing will certainly need to be a priority. Many of the people coming into the region will be single, who may be prepared to live in apartment blocks with minimal open space. However, provision must be made for families including creating additional school places and an expansion of health services to cope with the increased demand. The taxpayer will foot the bill.
The taxpayer also has to pay for improvements to transport infrastructure. Adding 260,000 flights and expanding Heathrow's cargo operation will put a strain on roads and public transport. Dealing with that is likely to cost around £17 billion but Heathrow is only expecting to pay just over £1 billion and Heathrow doesn't see dealing with the consequences of a third runway as its problem.
There a many hidden costs - not all financial. Find out more now, before it is too late.
LOOK OUT FOR OUR BEARS - AND FIND OUT ABOUT THE BARE NECESSITIES OF LIFE....
Update - See Press Releases page for photos of the Maidenhead Festival