Council condemns proposals for additional 25,000 flights from Heathrow

Release Date: 09 January 2019

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, has condemned Heathrow’s latest consultation on expansion – claiming 25,000 extra flights would be disastrous for the borough. 

The Heathrow eight-week public consultation is asking for public feedback on issues such as noise, runway alternation and night flying relating to its two existing runways, as well as the proposed controversial new third runway.

Heathrow is also revealing for the first time the geographical areas where the proposed new flight paths could be positioned. Richmond Council has been pushing for this information for years to ensure that residents could see the true impact of expansion on their lives.

More than 30 consultation events will be held giving people affected the opportunity to raise their concerns and provide feedback on Heathrow’s proposals. Many of the proposals would still be subject to a statutory Planning process.

The nearest local event is in Twickenham on the 13 February 2019 from 2-8pm in York House. 

Cllr Roberts, said:

“We have always said that Heathrow needs to be better and not bigger. But clearly size is everything to the airport!

“Heathrow are proposing the biggest changes to its flight path since it opened. People living in Richmond and other areas of West London will find their respite from overhead noise cut under these proposals. Not to mention the additional 25,000 more flights a year – which will no doubt be crammed into the early morning schedules, delivering more misery for our residents. Let’s not forget, these extra flights will still require Planning consent.

“This kind of expansion would see an unacceptable rise in noise and air pollution, damaging the environment and posing a risk to people’s health - and all at a potential cost to tax payers of billions of pounds. And it is extremely disappointing that only now we are seeing the proposed areas affected by additional planes, seven months after the Government made its decision to expand the airport. Making a decision before understanding the full impact of expansion is putting cart before horse….again! 

“We must stand firm. We must say no to this expansion.”

Richmond is part of a coalition of councils and others – including the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Windsor and Maidenhead, and Hammersmith and Fulham, as well as the Mayor of London and Greenpeace – that are seeking a judicial review of the Government’s decision to give policy support in the Airports National Policy Statement (“NPS”) for a third Heathrow runway.

Today’s consultation announcement follows on from the publication of the Department of Transport’s green paper on its aviation strategy that has pledged greater capacity at UK airports, with passenger numbers set to increase by 53 per cent over the next three decades. 

This could lead to further runways at Heathrow with the document concluding that the Government’s preferred approach is an NPS to set out the criteria but not name specific airports, so leaving it to the industry to determine whether and when to bring forward applications.

View the consultation

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P010/19

Updated: 2 January 2020