10 years of Terminal 5 lies ‘celebrated’ whilst proposed sites for runway development shock residents


14 March 2018

For immediate use

10 years of Terminal 5 lies ‘celebrated’ whilst proposed sites for runway development shock residents

  • Heathrow holding birthday party in Terminal 5 today
  • T5 symbol of broken promises by Heathrow to communities
  • Local campaign group hold packed public meetings
  • Residents left shocked by proposals

Heathrow, the airport that told everyone that Terminal 5 would not lead to a third runway and the destruction of thousands of homes, will be celebrating ten years of lies with a 'Lego Party' in the middle of the terminal on Wednesday, 14 March (1).

People passing through Terminal Five’s check-in are invited to help build a birthday card made out of Lego and as a thank-you are rewarding attendees with a ‘free biscuit’. It is really no more exciting than that unless you want to re-live that experience later online. Heathrow is also providing a "roaming band" in an attempt to liven proceedings (1).

The celebration, rendered ‘phoney’ by local campaign group Stop Heathrow Expansion, takes place whilst communities around the airport live with the lies and broken promises from Terminal 5. Heathrow reassured residents that Terminal 5 would not lead to expansion and would create tens of thousands of local jobs (2). Yet a decade after opening, Heathrow refuse to tell anyone how many people work at their airport now, compared to the year before T5 opened, despite many requests from local residents and campaigners.

Whilst Heathrow ‘celebrate’, residents were left shocked about the number and location of sites that could be destroyed as part of Heathrow’s plans for third runway development in outside a new airport boundary. 

The developments, explained to residents at two recent public meetings held by local campaign group Stop Heathrow Expansion in West Drayton and Harmondsworth revealed that sites immediately below the M4 motorway could be used to house a new immigration centre and a 20,000-space ‘mega’ car park. The A4 could also be re-routed much closer to West Drayton, which would expose residents and children at Cherry Lane Primary School to even greater air pollution levels. A site close to Wise Lane, West Drayton, could be used for flood storage, whilst land next to Cherry Lane Cemetery could be used for ‘industrial and parking uses’ (3).

The presentation, delivered by Stop Heathrow Expansion’s Dr. Justine Bayley, an expert on building conservation and heritage, shocked the audience with information of the huge number of development sites, and their possible intended purpose, that Heathrow have their eye on. All the information was taken from Heathrow documents that are forming its current consultation which closes on 28 March.

Despite the horror of the revelations, there is no doubt that most residents, particularly those living in West Drayton, have little idea that they will have to suffer these impacts from a third runway.

The information was presented at public meetings, held on 28 February and 2 March, which took place in the midst of heavy snow and bitter winds, so the full turnout on both nights reflects the level of concern as to the impacts of expansion in West Drayton and the Heathrow Villages.

Other speakers included John McDonnell, MP for Hayes & Harlington and Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council. Like most long-standing residents of the borough, Mr. Puddifoot is well aware that the airport cannot be trusted to tell the truth so public meetings organised by anti-expansion campaigners are important.

Mr. Puddifoot explained that the issues of air and noise pollution were too great for Heathrow to overcome and should MPs fail to vote down Heathrow expansion in a parliamentary vote, expected this summer, Hillingdon Council stands ready to take the matter to court and feels confident of winning the case.

John McDonnell told the meeting that more and more colleagues in Parliament were beginning to pose serious questions about the project, whether in relation to new evidence showing reduced economic benefits to the UK, the cost to passengers and the airlines, or the huge cost to the taxpayer of road and rail upgrades at the expense of projects in other parts of the UK. Mr McDonnell reported that much of this scrutiny had been undertaken by Parliament’s Transport Committee, which is due to publish a report on its findings before 23 March.


Jackie Clark-Basten, Chair of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said:

“Terminal Five is a symbol of a series of broken promises made by Heathrow to our communities. They said it would never lead to a third runway, yet within six months of it opening they published plans for one. They said it would create tens of thousands of local jobs, but in fact never actually created a net increase any long-term jobs. Terminal Five was massively over budget and late, with an opening fiasco that saw flights cancelled and about 15,000 pieces of luggage going astray. 

“Heathrow’s record of making and delivering promises is poor and cannot be trusted now or ever. Their plans to impact our local area even further are laid bare for everyone to see, but it wasn’t until we presented the information at our recent public meetings that many residents in surrounding areas have not realised just how damaging another runway would be to their lives.”


John McDonnell, MP for Hayes & Harlington, said:

“The case against Heathrow expansion is growing. As the weeks go on, more and more people, both in the community and in Parliament are realising that a third runway cannot go ahead.

“The attendance at the recent public meetings we’ve been holding, despite taking place during the snowstorms, is testament to the strength of feeling people are feeling about the impact this proposal will have to their local community.”


Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said:

“The majority of MPs are sensible enough to realise that the environmental issues or air quality and noise are too important to ignore. 

 “However, should MPs fail to do the right thing by voting this proposal down, we stand ready to ask the courts to overrule their decision through judicial review and there is little doubt that this would be granted.”



  1. https://blog.heathrow.com/celebrate-10-years-of-terminal-5/
  2. http://stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/press-releases-1/2016/10/2/campaign-group-unearths-figures-which-cast-doubt-on-heathrows-3rd-runway-jobs-claims
  3. Appendix 3 https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2263-Heathrow-OEP-and-Appendix-FINAL-RGB-200dpi.pdf
  4. Pictures attached