Ealing Campaigners React to the Heathrow Third Runway Decision

Pledging to continue the fight against proposals

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Ealing Council has joined a throng of high profile campaigners, all pledging to keep fighting the Government announcement that the third runway at Heathrow is to be built.

Council Leader Jason Stacey said; “It is clear from the many public meetings held right across the borough and beyond that the vast majority of residents oppose the further expansion of Heathrow.”

“Many are extremely concerned by increased flights and the additional noise these will bring, and this expansion will have a detrimental impact on all our lives.”

“The Government has effectively ignored all of these representations but Ealing, along with all of its partners on the 2M Group, will continue to fight the proposals.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said he is considering legal action against the government to stop the runway being built. "I am deeply concerned that the proper processes of coming to this decision may not have been followed, and will support a legal challenge should this prove to be the case."

He described the government's decision as a "devastating blow" for Londoners, whose lives would be blighted by increases in air pollution and noise.

Angie Bray, Conservative candidate for Ealing Central and Acton, said: " "This is an appalling decision by Gordon Brown's Labour government.  It flies in the face of all the environmental reports which predict serious health risks for the millions of people who live in West London and around Heathrow.  I will be campaigning hard to get this reversed and I am delighted that my party leader, David Cameron has made it clear that a Conservative Government will put a stop to it."

Jon Ball, Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesman for Ealing Central and Acton and a long term campaigner against Heathrow expansion, is especially concerned about the Ealing borough.

"The impact of this decision is even more keenly felt for us in Ealing as the approach to the new runway will be directly over the south of the Borough including South Ealing, Chiswick and Hanwell," he said.

"We are not convinced that the economic case has been made out especially in the current global economic downturn and taking into consideration the huge subsidies currently given to the aviation industry.

Nic Ferriday, Spokesperson for West London Friends of the Earth, called this a 'black day indeed'.

"The government has decided to ignore the impacts of extra noise and air pollution. It has decided to destroy home and communities. And its climate targets, decided only two months ago, are in tatters."

"Halving the proposed number increase in flights is just a confidence  trick. No-one can honestly believe that this limit will be adhered to. As soon as the limit is reached, the government will just succumb to lobbying from BAA and the airlines and raise the limit to the original 720,000 flights pa. Exactly the same bogus arguments about the economy and jobs will be made and, this time, there will be the additional argument that it is economic madness not to fully use such an expensive asset as a runway."

About 700 homes will have to be demolished to make way for the runway, which will increase the number of flights using Heathrow from about 480,000 a year now to 702,000 by 2030.

Earlier this week an alliance of celebrities, politicians, scientists and Greenpeace bought a plot of land earmarked for the third runway in the hope of stalling the Government's expansion plans.

Local resident and one of the land's high profile owners Alistair McGowan said, "Now that we own it, we'll never sell it to them [BAA] and we're confident that we'll be joined by people from all over the world who will help us defend it.

BAA's Chief Executive, Colin Matthews, has welcomed the news. He said, "This decision opens the door to Heathrow becoming a truly world class hub airport, and to the UK maintaining the direct connections to the rest of the world on which our prosperity depends."


January 20, 2009