Richmond ready to fight Heathrow expansion proposals as third runway listed as viable option


Lord True responded to the Davies Commission interim report.


By SWLondoner staff

Richmond residents campaigning against Heathrow expansion have been dealt a blow today as a new report suggests a third runway at the airport is a viable option.

The Davies Commission’s interim report shortlists what they see as the most viable options for expanding UK airport capacity; a third runway at Heathrow, lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow, or an additional runway at Gatwick.

The final report, led by businessman Sir Howard Davies, is not due until 2015, but many will be worried about the prospect of Heathrow expansion, as well as feeling betrayed by a government who said pre-election that there was no possibility of a third runway.

“The capacity challenge is not yet critical, but it will become so if no action is taken soon,” Sir Howard told the BBC.

Despite this report being Heathrow-heavy, it has not yet written off the idea of building a new airport in the Thames Estuary in North Kent, a proposal strongly supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Mr Johnson has said that putting a new runway at Heathrow would be a ‘catastrophe’.

“A new airport in the inner estuary is the only credible hub option left,” he said.

“By keeping it on the table, Davies is saying you have a choice – between a damaging U-turn or a radical new vision for expansion.”

Following the publication of the report, the Leader of Richmond Council, Lord True, said it fails to consider any visionary alternative to the problem of Heathrow.

“Earlier this year, the residents of west London gave a resounding NO to Heathrow in the referendum held by this borough and the London Borough of Hillingdon. Over 140,000 people turned out with 80% of our residents saying they would not accept any expansion at Heathrow,” he said.

“We have made it abundantly clear to both the bosses of Heathrow and the Government that expansion is off the table, it would further blight the residents of this borough with incessant noise and we will use all measures available to us to block any proposals.

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