But keeps new flightpath locations secret
Plane landing at Heathrow. Picture: Ian Wylie
The Government has launched public consultations today on expanding Heathrow airport and changes to airspace policy – but neither of them reveal the locations of new flightpaths needed to serve a three runway airport.
Wandsworth councillors are concerned that withholding this basic information means that the public cannot tell if they are affected and cannot provide meaningful feedback.
Currently the north of Wandsworth is directly under the two existing arrival flightpaths but with three runways there could be new routes created over quiet neighbourhoods which have never experienced aircraft noise before.
The Government’s consultations material is now being delivered to homes across Wandsworth and London listing a series of economic benefits the scheme could deliver. Councillors are concerned that these booklets do not list the negative environmental impacts and do not present a balanced picture of how community life could be affected.
Fears have also been raised that the Government is not willing to listen to opposing views after the Department for Transport told the media today that: “The planning policy proposals [for a third runway] show this Government is not only making the big decisions but getting on with delivering them.”
Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “What millions of Londoners want to know above anything else is whether the new flightpaths will go over their homes, schools or communities. There is not justification for keeping this vital information a secret. The Government’s seems to be consulting on the benefits of expanding this airport but not the drawbacks. This renders the whole exercise meaningless. This is more like marketing than consultation and the transport secretary is damaging already fragile trust in politics.
“It’s vital that residents are not put off by Government’s approach and make their voices heard. This council and its partners will campaign for the flightpath options to be included in this consultation and will provide a more balanced presentation of the scheme’s impacts.”
February 2, 2017