Richmond council, along with Hillingdon, Wandsworth and Windsor councils, have hit out at the plans to expand Heathrow airport by outlining the negative impacts it will have on the local community.
Earlier this month the Department for Transport sent details of the Heathrow expansion scheme to millions of people listing its potential benefits but failed to explain any negative impacts like increased air pollution or aircraft noise.
Noise pollution, disruption of the M25 and a cost of £15 billion to the taxpayer were the headlines from the list of issues associated with the expansion shown below.
· Increase in noise: 50% increase in flights and new flight paths over quiet parts of the South East.
· Noise respite will be halved: Most communities under flight paths will be overflown for 75% of the day, compared to 50% today.
· Only five long haul routes: There will be 260,000 more flights a year, but only 5 additional long haul routes.
· Disrupting the M25: Rerouting of the A4 and local road network, M25 in a tunnel and increased rail, at an estimated cost of up to £15 billion to the taxpayer.
· Increased levels of pollution: Heathrow already contributes to illegal pollution levels which would increase with expansion.
· More night flights: Night flights would continue, and the Government’s proposed 6.5 hour ban doesn’t cover the whole night.
· Increased detrimental health impacts: Expanding Heathrow would damage thousands of people’s health – particularly children and those with existing conditions.
· Increased traffic levels: Expansion would generate 25 million extra road passenger journeys a year and double the airport’s existing freight operation.
· Increased noise impacts on schools: An extra 108 schools would be overflown for 75% of the day. Hundreds more schools would see aircraft noise increase from 50% of the day, to 75%.
· Homes destroyed: Around 1,000 homes will be destroyed as Heathrow expands. There is also no planned infrastructure e.g. community facilities to support an expanded airport.
Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council, said:
“There are so many flaws in this consultation. Ranging from huge patches of missing information to inviting people to attend consultation events without providing times or venues. It really beggars belief.
“However, we have tried to help residents navigate their way through this consultation by providing them with as much of the missing information that we have. These are all facts. Facts that have been omitted or hidden as they don’t give the ‘rosy’ expansion picture that the Government desire.”