MASSIVE SPENDING ON HEATHROW DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHEAST IS WRONG CHOICE FOR POST-BREXIT BRITAIN

2 February 2017

For immediate use

 

MASSIVE SPENDING ON HEATHROW DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHEAST IS WRONG CHOICE FOR POST-BREXIT BRITAIN

On the day that the government announces a nationwide consultation on proposals to spend billions on a third runway development at Heathrow and a White Paper on Britain’s exit from the EU, campaign group Stop Heathrow Expansion warns that pouring money into the south east at the expense of the rest of the country is a choice the country would regret.

Infrastructure costs have been estimated at up to £17bn. This is public money that could be better spent in areas of the UK that suffer higher unemployment and have a great lack of investment.

Jackie Clark-Basten, Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “In launching its consultation on Heathrow expansion today, the government says they are “creating an economy that works for everyone”, but it certainly wouldn’t work for us, or indeed for many other people around the UK, if a third runway were allowed to go ahead. The stark reality is that while our community would be destroyed, the local road network at a standstill and our air quality toxic, communities in other parts of the UK continue to feel left behind by the Government’s obsession with spending money on one airport in London. The consequences would be felt far and wide.”

Clark-Basten added: “We encourage as many people as possible in the Heathrow area, but also in other parts of the UK, to send a message to the Government that the proposed third runway put forward in this consultation, is in fact a move backwards for the country.”

The consultation will last for 16 weeks, until 25 May 2017. The proposals will then be considered by the Parliamentary Transport Select Committee.  Parliament will vote on the National Policy Statement in late 2017 or early 2018. Only if it is approved will a third runway then become Government policy.

During 2018 Heathrow will be required to provide firm plans for the new runway which will then be expected to go to a planning inquiry in 2019.  Planning consent for a third runway is highly unlikely before 2020 or 2021.

The Government also launched a national consultation today on its future airspace strategy, consulting on principles in which airspace will be designed round in the future, such as whether residents prefer concentrated flight paths or a more dispersed approach, for instance.  This consultation will not provide specific flight paths for Heathrow or any other airport.

 

Reasons to reject a third runway

×         more than half the proposed "additional business for Britain" will be absorbed in health costs due to bronchial problems, hypertension, depression, early death and slower learning in children, caused by noise, pollution and loss of sleep.

×         Improved use of other airports better supports the regions and renders a third runway at Heathrow unnecessary.

×         At least 783 homes to be lost.

×         another 3,750 homes to be made "unliveable" due to noise, pollution and health impacts.

×         loss of community, 900-year history, relationships, family lives, memories, local services etc.

×         people in the south of Hillingdon Borough die 7 years earlier than those in north Hillingdon.

×         Heathrow noise pollution already impacts 3 times the number of people around Charles de Gaulle, Schiphol or Frankfurt airports and with a third runway it would be 4 times as many.

 

Ends.

For more information: Rob Barnstone on 07806 947050; robert.barnstone@outlook.com

Rob Barnstone