A threat to your family’s health and wellbeing
Should you be worried? Absolutely, because Heathrow’s third runway would mean:
- An airport enlargement as big as Gatwick in the middle of one of the most densely populated areas in Europe – in reality a new airport next to Heathrow.
- Far more noise and emissions from a minimum 260,000 additional planes per year
- Concentrated flight paths (termed ‘Noise Sewers’ by the former CEO of the Civil Aviation Authority) over new and existing neighbourhoods (up to 10,200 newly affected in Englefield Green and Virginia Water – and this is with the unprecedented 60% reductions in aircraft noise forecasts – 4 times that which has been achieved in the industry over the preceding decades)
- Until the third runway is completed, concentrated arrivals (for the first time ever) over our area adding 25,000 more flights on existing runways, to assist Heathrow to fund the scheme, with 25 arrivals/hr between 06:00-07:00 directly over Englefield Green and Virginia Water
- Earlier departures to takeoff at 05:15 – currently departures (from the aircraft stands) do not start until 06:00, with the first takeoff 10 to 15 minutes later.
- A 6.5 hour ‘night flight ban’ only if all planes fly on schedule…and they rarely do – versus the 8 hours’ sleep recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
Major “truth gaps” in the case for expanding Heathrow
Fact: aircraft noise and emissions seriously impact physical and mental health, sleep patterns and children’s ability to learn. Yet the Government has promoted a third runway without any independent or comprehensive health Impact Assessment and ignored all contrary WHO and medical reports.
The Department for Transport (DFT) admitted it has not considered the impact of ultrafine particles raining down from aviation. These emissions are known to cause very serious health impacts, including lung conditions, cancers, damage to babies in the womb and suggested to be linked to dementia.
The DfT’s own analysis shows over 2 million people will experience increased aviation noise at levels WHO strongly advises against. Over 300,000 people will be significantly affected for the first time and 400,000 will experience a doubling in the number of other flights. Yet the DfT they start its evidence on a noise survey but didn’t consider the effect of change over Communities despite international research showing that change has a very significant effect.
The Government is planning to hold Heathrow’s Development Consent Order (DCO) enquiry before reviewing its policies in the light of the new WHO noise guidelines. The economic case for Heathrow expansion has been vastly overstated if WHO guidelines are considered an additional £8-10 billion of health costs would wipe out much of the advertised benefits. These costs will fall back on the NHS and those unlucky enough to live near the flight paths.
30% of Heathrow 80.1 million passengers last year were transfer passengers only spending in the airport shops -no benefit to the UK economy, as transfer passengers are not subject to landing charges. Heathrow 90% owned by overseas shareholders made £716 million from retail in 2018 – while we just get the noise and air pollution and a chance to cough up towards the escalating expansion costs. Higher landing charges also mean more money going from the UK economy .
Given the UK’s recent climate change commitments and Parliament, Councils (not RBC) and others declaring a climate emergency, it’s more important than ever to stop Heathrow expansion. Carbon emissions from aviation – Heathrow is already the largest CO2 emitter in the UK, bar none – and transport continue to grow whilst other sectors have reduced. Our children are depending on us to protect their future.
So what can you do?
Heathrow is undertaking a Statutory consultation that runs until the 13th of September it’s very important to respond:
You must write to your Councillors and MP, the press etc., to express your outrage, at was once described of, by our current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, that Heathrow expansion was “barbarically contemptuous of the rights of the population”.
Revolution in the Home Counties
MP Philip Hammond – “There was almost a revolution in the Home Counties about radical redesign of airspace and where routes go”
In a packed public meeting, on 24 October 2014, at the Jurgens Centre in Englefield Green, organised by newly formed Englefield Green Action Group (EGAG) in response to the public outrage of the Heathrow Precision Based Navigation (PBN) Trial Flight Paths, routed over Englefield Green, shattering the peace in this previously quiet area.
In an exchange with one (of many ) angry Englefield Green residents, at the time, who said,
“People selected Englefield Green as a quiet area to move to, investing considerably more, in the knowledge that it was, in the main, unaffected by aircraft noise. Sharing of noise is not on, as we paid a premium to live here“
MP Philip Hammond‘s response was “4 or 5 years ago, there was almost a revolution in the Home Counties about radical redesign of airspace and where routes go“.
Philip Hammond went on to say, in that exchange, “decisions based on that reasonable assumption, based on NPR’s [Noise Preference Routes], need to be respected“
Philip Hammond also said, at that meeting, that he was against Heathrow expansion on environmental grounds and that he favoured expansion at Gatwick.
At the end of that EGAG organised packed public meeting, Philip Hammond was handed a 2000 signature petition by EGAG, demanding the Englefield Green Trial Flights be halted. On 12 November 2014, due to huge political pressure from all the areas affected by these inhumane trials, Ascot, Bracknell, Teddington and more, the PBN Trial Flights were halted, 3 months early.
Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Sustainability, said at that meeting, that the trials had “nothing to do with Heathrow expansion“.
Sadly as we have learnt over the 5 years that EGAG has attended the Heathrow Community Noise Forum (HCNF), the group that sprung out of those trials, demanded by the Government, not much can be taken at face value when dealing with Heathrow.
Heathrow Expansion is predicated on the exact same technology as those 2014 PBN trial flights.
What the Government is now allowing, for Heathrow’s expansion ambitions, is for Heathrow to tear up the existing airspace, as suits Heathrow’s expansion ambitions, without consideration for residents such as those of Englefield Green, who made life choices based on the fact that, in general, it was not affected by aircraft noise.
This outrage, contrary to what the CEO of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, would like to have you believe, is not a done deal.
We must fight to stop this environmentally disastrous white elephant, that is Heathrow expansion, by challenging our elected Political Servants – our MPs and Councillors. They should support our legitimate demands.
With the current Conservative MP candidate vacancy, those local Conservative Party Members, that make the choice might like to consider candidates that have ‘skin in the game‘, who live in the area and are not career politicians, parachuted in to a safe seat, who may when push comes to shove, serve their own ambitions, rather than the legitimate needs of the people they are elected to represent and protect.
Englefield Green Political Representatives contact details:
MP Philip Hammond – Independent – until recently Conservative MP – Resident of Send, Surrey
Cllr. Nick Prescot – Conservative Leader of the Council – Resident of Egham
Cllr. Marisa Heath – Conservative and Surrey County Council representative – Resident of Virginia Water
Cllr. Jap Sohi – Conservative – Resident of Virginia Water
Cllr. Michael Kusneraitis – Independent – until recently Conservative – Resident of Englefield Green
Cllr. Nigel King – Conservative – Resident of Englefield Green
Cllr. Chris Howarth – Conservative – Resident and Cllr. of Virginia Water and RHUL Lecturer