Councillors to continue opposition to more Heathrow runways

Councillors to continue opposition to more Heathrow runways

Simon Meechan

Councillors to continue opposition to more Heathrow runways
A plane lands at Heathrow Airport
Councillors will continue opposing plans for any additional runways at Heathrow Airport.

At a Royal Borough cabinet meeting last night, lead member for the environment, Cllr Carwyn Cox (Con, Hurley and Walthams), delivered a report recommending the Borough actively resist proposals made by Heathrow Airport in a July 2013 submission to the Airport Commission chaired by Sir Howard Davies.

Heathrow have proposed three sites for a new runway, to the north, North-west or South-west of the airport.

Heathrow's submission claims that the UK needs one 'Premier League' airport to compete globally and Heathrow is the best location for the additional runway capacity this requires. It claims that an extra runway at the airport is the quickest, most economical and most practical way of meeting the UK's international connectivity needs. Rival proposals include building a new airport in the Thames Estuary, or expanding Stansted.

Cllr George Bathurst (Con, Castle Without) said: "We need to continue to resist these proposals. Contrary to what they say in the report this is not cost effective or quick. It involves moving motorways and reservoirs."

The north-west and south-west proposals demand re-routing the M25, and the south-west would involve building over the King George VI and Wraysbury reservoirs. All options require some local residents to be relocated through compulsory purchase.

Cllr John Lenton (Con, Horton and Wraysbury Wood), said: "They have also buried the fact that we would lose flood storage of 1.5million cubic metres.

"Taking a look at Gatwick, they have ruled out a runway because of problems of building over the London to Brighton railway and a sewage works. This is chicken feed compared to Heathrow's plans."

Cllr Malcolm Beer (Ind, Old Windsor) was sceptical that Heathrow's transport links make expansion suitable. He said: "Crossrail etc are not designed for an airport that will be expanding. The idea that they are 'streets ahead' because of their structure is a total fallacy."

Members were unanimous in agreeing with the recommendations of Cllr Cox's report. Leader of the Council, Cllr David Burbage (Con, Bray) said: "We will continue to object and send a letter making these points to the Davies Commission."

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