ISSUE: Terminal 5                               

Council Condemns Terminal Five Report Leaks  

Wandsworth Council leader Edward Lister has urged environment secretary John Prescott not to wait until after next year's expected general election before ruling on the proposed fifth terminal at Heathrow.

Cllr Lister's call came after it was disclosed that the inquiry report had recommended that ministers give the go ahead to construction of the £2 billion terminal. Ministers are believed to have received the report on December 18.

Wandsworth Council is part of an-all party group of local authorities in London and the South East opposed to any further expansion of the airport on environmental grounds. The council has also led calls for an end to night flights. It is currently awaiting the outcome of a landmark case heard in May before the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg.

Eight west London residents are challenging the UK Government on their right to a decent night's sleep. Wandsworth brought together a group of local councils to help fund the appellants' legal costs.

Cllr Lister called on ministers to play fair by the thousands of south and west London residents who live below the flight path:

"People affected by aircraft noise should not have to rely on leaked reports to find out where the Government stands. Nor should the environment secretary be allowed to go into an election without stating unequivocally what his position is.

"The pre-Christmas speculation will look to many like the start of a softening-up exercise. The suspicion is that public opinion is being prepared for a final decision rejecting the arguments of environmentalists and residents who want to see airport capacity issues tackled in a much more balanced way.

"The promise of a white paper on air transport, timed to coincide with the delivery of the terminal five report, has come far too late. Everything is being poured into Heathrow without any real examination of the alternatives."

Heathrow is already running above its nominal capacity of 54 million passengers. The fifth terminal would increase numbers to 80 million.

Campaigners believe increases of this size would bring many more flights and a significant worsening of the noise climate around Heathrow.

Last year the council called on ministers to establish an independent noise regulator who could keep the airlines in check.

Wandsworth has further demanded the publication of proper ‘noise maps’ charting excess noise levels in the areas around Heathrow.


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The Web-site of HACAN the campaign against the expansion of Heathrow

Local Resident's Challenge UK Government in Europen Court of Human Rights - (April 2000)

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