Heathrow third runway blow as Wandsworth Council vote against expansion


The motion received cross-party endorsement as elected Councillors vowed to step up the fight against proposed expansion.


By Umrish Pandya

Heathrow Airport’s controversial plan for a third runway has taken a further blow as Wandsworth Council unanimously voted to oppose any future expansion on Wednesday.

The motion received cross-party endorsement as elected Councillors vowed to step up the fight against proposed expansion as well as the introduction of mixed-mode operations.

Councillors cited the growing environmental concerns of local residents who live under Heathrow’s busy flight paths.

Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “Heathrow is determined to side-step the environmental and noise issues west Londoners feel so strongly about.

“This council will unpick the airport owner’s case and do everything in its power to defend its residents’ quality of life from the threat of increased aircraft noise.”

Wednesday’s motion also highlighted desires for the ‘progressive reduction and ultimate elimination of night flights in the period 2330 to 0600’, amongst other existing issues.

Earlier this month Wandsworth Council called upon the government to bring forward its decision on airport capacity which is due in 2015.

In its response to a national consultation on aviation policy the authority says that ruling Heathrow expansion out of the debate will shorten the decision making process and is entirely consistent with Government policy

The vote came just a day before the Qatari Airways Chief Executive, Akbar al Baker, lent his voice to the on-going saga.

Speaking at the Aviation Club in Surrey, Mr Al Baker said: “Heathrow is bursting at the seams and has already reached a critical point.

“Measures to expand need to be taken soon to avoid a catastrophic situation in the future.”

As a founding member of the 2M Group, an alliance of 24 local authorities which successfully led a High Court challenge against a third runway in 2010, Wandsworth Council is widely regarded to be at the heart of the continuing struggle against airport expansion.

Cllr Govindia added: “Wandsworth has led the fight against Heathrow expansion for more than a decade and tonight’s vote underlines our commitment to the campaign.”

For further information visit:

Follow us on @SW_Londoner

Related Articles