Council United Behind Heathrow Campaign

All parties pledge to "step up fight against plans for a third runway"

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On Wednesday 17th October Wandsworth councillors unanimously backed a motion reinforcing the town hall's opposition to Heathrow expansion.

Elected members from both political parties pledged to step up the fight against plans for a third runway, and to resist any attempt to introduce 'mixed mode' operations at the airport.

Council leader Ravi Govindia said:
"Wandsworth has led the fight against Heathrow expansion for more than a decade and tonight's vote underlines our commitment to the campaign.

"Heathrow is determined to side-step the environmental and noise issues west Londoners feel so strongly about. This council will unpick the airport owner's case and do everything in its power to defend its residents' quality of life from the threat of increased aircraft noise."

Earlier this month Wandsworth called on the Government to speed up its decision on airport capacity.

In its response to a national consultation on aviation policy the authority said that ruling Heathrow expansion out of the debate will shorten the decision making process and is entirely consistent with Government policy.

The full wording of the motion is below:

This Council:-

(a) welcomes the opportunity to restate the case for no further expansion at Heathrow. It believes that Heathrow's setting as a hub airport located in the most densely populated part of the country means that the environmental consequences of a third or fourth runway are simply too damaging for too many people with homes under the flightpaths;

(b) it therefore calls for:-

i. no third or fourth runway;

ii. no increases in capacity beyond the current annual limit of 480,000 movements;

iii. no additional noise burden for local residents through any mixed mode use of runways; and

iv. a progressive reduction and ultimate elimination of night flights in the period 2330 to 0600; and

(c) it therefore resolves to maintain an active programme of engagement with local people to explain the social and environmental consequences of expansion at Heathrow including noise, air pollution and road traffic impacts and to encourage a constructive and informed debate on alternative options including:-

i. regulation of Heathrow operations to ensure more efficient use of its existing hub capacity;

ii. better use of existing capacity at other airports in the South East and beyond; and

iii. consideration of the potential for a new hub airport in a less constrained location including the Mayor of London's Thames Estuary option.

Wandsworth Council is a founding member of the 2M Group of councils opposed to Heathrow expansion. This all-party alliance includes more than 20 local authorities.

In 2010 the group led a successful High Court challenge against the previous Government's plan to add a third runway.

The group, which took its name from the 2 million residents of the original 12 authorities, now represents a combined population of 5 million people.

October 21, 2012