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.
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.
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.
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.
Lister called on ministers to play fair
by the thousands of south and west London
residents who live below the flight path:
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.
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
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."
is already running above its nominal capacity
of 54 million passengers. The fifth terminal
would increase numbers to 80 million.
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.
has further demanded the publication of
proper noise maps charting
excess noise levels in the areas around