The Government have carried out several consultations on the expansion of Heathrow Airport.
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In October 2017 the Government was forced to launch a consultation for a second time on its proposed 'National Policy Statement' (NPS) for airports. This followed complaints from councils, that they had withheld important new information back from the public.
Now, thanks to the lobbying and legal efforts from four local councils, the latest consultation finally includes information on long-term aviation forecasts and the new national air quality plan - both missing from the original consultation. In addition, for the first time, the Government has been forced to admit that expanding Gatwick airport makes financial and environmental sense.
On 25 October 2016 the Government announced its support for a new runway at Heathrow. The scheme was taken forward in a draft ‘National Policy Statement’ – which was out for public consultation for 16 weeks. The deadline was 25 May 2017.
Richmond Council, along with Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Windsor and Maidenhead Councils are concerned that the Government’s consultation on expanding Heathrow Airport is misleading and does not provide a balanced view of the scheme’s costs and benefits.
The Government sent a consultation leaflet to around 1.5 million homes around the airport. It listed a series of economic benefits and mitigation measures, but did not include information on increasing aircraft noise levels, pollution impacts, health impacts, taxpayer costs, traffic increases or the loss of noise respite periods.
Therefore, to help residents understand the impact that Heathrow will really have on their local community, Richmond Council, along with the partner councils, created our own flyer – that is being sent to households across Richmond upon Thames.
For further information, view the Heathrow Expansion flyer(pdf, 1770KB)
Drop-in sessions were hosted by the Department of Transport for residents to have their say on the proposals. We also created a helpful ‘prompt card(pdf, 511KB)’ to understand what questions to ask.
Alternatively, residents could register their thoughts by using the freepost card that was sent with the Council flyer, or copies were available from local libraries or the Civic Centre. These cards should then have been returned to the Department for Transport (DfT).
On 2 January until 25 May 2017 the Government carried out a consultation on Air Space. This looked at the way noise is managed and how industry and communities work together, including confirming who makes air space decisions etc.
Residents were encouraged to have their say in a Government consultation on night flights from Heathrow Airport before the deadline on 28 February.
The current regime for night flight restrictions is due to expire in October 2017. Therefore, earlier this year the Government launched the consultation on proposals that they claim will ‘help encourage the use of quieter aircraft’ at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. However, plans did not propose any changes that actually will result in a change to the number of flights allowed between 11.30pm and 6am from the West London airport.
It was proposed that the new regime would be in place for five years and linked any future reduction in night flights to the delivery of a third runway at Heathrow.
Measures out for consultation included:
Updated: 20 December 2017