Councils and MPs unite in opposition to airport expansion

MPs believe that BAA�s announcement this week is a let-down for local residents after the company�s previous plans ruled out a further runway

Local authorities and elected representatives are stepping up their opposition to plans for a third runway at Heathrow after airports operator BAA launched its own campaign to win government backing for expansion on the site.

Ministers will decide later this year whether to give the go ahead to a third runway at Heathrow. The Government's latest consultation on runway proposals for the South East, which now includes Gatwick, ends on June 30.

Councils likely to be in the forefront of efforts to resist expansion at Heathrow include Wandsworth Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmond. Cllr Edward Lister leader of Wandsworth Council said that they would continue to work with other councils to present the environmental arguments in the clearest possible way:"The industry wants what's good for the industry. It's our job as local authorities to speak up for our residents whose quality of life is at risk."

Alan Keen MP for Feltham and Heston said "Runway 3 is a step too far. I�ve said it before and I�ll say it again, another runway at Heathrow should not happen. The majority of local residents will regard this announcement as a slap in the face."

He said he had considered himself a friend of BAA in the past but this latest moved stretched the relationship to the limit and that his constituents should be given priority over "economics, flight schedules and what seems to be an expansion wish list."

Ann Keen (pictured left) added "I will be making my voice heard and those of my constituents against any runway three. The economic benefits do not and should not outweigh the environmental concerns and the quality of life of local residents.�

Alan Keen together with Friends of the Earth, Hacan and the No 3rd Runway Group will join with local residents in opposition against proposals for a third runway at Heathrow on Saturday 7th June 2003 at 11.30.

A Walk is being organised by Friends of the Earth, HACAN and the No 3rd Runway Group, marking the route of the runway, starting at Harlington 11.30 AM. (To time with the consultation period which ends 30th June) The Walk is approx 2 miles and will end in Harmondsworth about 1.30 pm with a Rally. The village pubs (which woud be under the runway) are organising refreshment along the route, with barbeques at the end.

May 15, 2003

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