Colnbrook Sheraton January 14 DfT Heathrow ConsultationJanuary 14, 2008 at 2:46 am | Posted in Climate change, Colnbrook, Consultation, Department for Transport, DfT, Expansion, Heathrow, RBWM, Stop, Windsor | Leave a comment
Adding capacity at Heathrow Airport is a climate change no-no, so I will respond to the public consultation by Wednesday 27 February 2008 appropriately, emphasising that topic above all.
Our Neighbourhood Watch group will be tracking this issue from now on. However, when I first raised “Reponse to plans for Heathrow expansion” as an agenda item for our meetings, they laughed at me for even considering a response to the document that had come through our letterboxes. When neighbours heard I would be attending a public consultation, they considered me crazy, declared it would be an utter waste of my time, and told me it was clear to them it was a done deal—the government would railroad its plans for airport expansion through, to benefit big business, regardless of what we, the people, say. This is the sorry state of British cynicism. I am often accused of “being too American” when I refuse to give in to vested interests’ desires without so much as a fight!
Anyway, suffice to say, our local MPs and boroughs, the Mayor of London and a list of environmental organisations are speaking out against these plans, so I am not alone. Even if I were alone, I would still send my objections to capacity additions in. It is no wonder we have such a mess in Britain if my neighbours’ reactions are typical 😐
At the end of this post is a summary and plea, from our Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, for as many residents as possible to attend the public consultation in Windsor. Well, I was out of the country for that one (and yes, I did fly out of and into LHR that very week before Christmas). So, to make up for my absence at our local session, today I am going to the Sheraton Heathrow Hotel shown on this interesting map.
(Aside: see how close this hotel is to Terminal 5? Heathrow’s Terminal 5, scheduled to open to passengers on Thursday 27 March 2008, is described in a BBC article here, though I must warn you that the equivalent press releases confirming that date on British Airways site have been removed! I wonder if it is on schedule? In any case, I think it is convenient that we are all consulting on a third runway and a sixth terminal before the fifth is even operational.)
Anyway, here are visitor details for today’s equivalent session in Colnbrook:
Date: Monday 14 January
Sheraton Heathrow Hotel
UB7 0HJOpening hours: 10.00 am – 8.00 pm
Heathrow tube (Piccadilly Line)
Bus: Hotel hopper from T3. Free buses to Bath Road stop ‘Hatch Lane’.
Shuttle bus provision: Sipson and Harmondsworth to Colnbrook: Running every 30 mins. Route time approx 15 mins.
- Sipson:The Plough public house, Sipson Road
- Harmondsworth: King William IV public house, Harmondsworth Lane
- Harmondsworth: The Crown public house, High Street (additional stop)
- Colnbrook: Sheraton Heathrow Hotel
236 spaces. 30 prepaid tickets available. Car park attendants will provide visitors with tickets to avoid personal payment.
At least the House of Commons Hansard Debate for 12 December 2007 records some concerns over climate change. So far, our local council is concentrating on exactly the point that the DfT want the public to dwell on, i.e. chemical and energy pollution of various immediate and obvious types, instead of insidious, invisible greenhouse gas emissions. Hmmm …
More on this later. In the meantime you can read more at Stop Heathrow Expansion as we prepare our responses to the Heathrow Consultation.
The consultation on proposed further expansion at Heathrow airport over the next 20 years – including a third runway and a sixth terminal – will reach the Royal Borough on Monday December 17 and residents are being urged to make sure they have their say.
Cllr David Burbage, council leader, has issued a call for as many people as possible to visit the Department for Transport’s public exhibition at Windsor Leisure Centre (10am to 8pm) so that the community will be fully aware of what the government and BAA are planning.
He said: “If these proposals go ahead, the expansion will have an immense effect on everyone living in our borough and other communities around Heathrow. We must take advantage of the local exhibition to get fully up to speed with the proposals and make informed responses to this consultation.
“This is likely to be one of the biggest and most significant government initiatives ever in our area and it is vitally important that we have full community participation to ensure local views are heard.”
The DfT document – Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport – discusses proposals for:
- the development of a third 2,200 metre runway (wiping out 700 properties, including the entire Sipson community in the London Borough of Hillingdon
- the construction of a Terminal 6
- optimising the current runway capacity at Heathrow by introducing ‘mixed mode’ use of runways from as early as 2011 (this would raise the number of aircraft movements from the current ‘capped’ 480,000 per year with T5 to 540,000 by 2015)
- continuing to promote the growth in the number of flights to more than 700,000 per year by 2030 (after the construction of runway three and Terminal 6)
- ending the Cranford Agreement and runway alternation (although retaining westerly preference).
The document also claims that the expansion and increase in flight numbers can be achieved within existing noise limits and in accordance with EU air quality standards.
Cllr Colin Rayner, lead member for highways, transport and environment, said the council was currently going through the consultation document with a fine-tooth comb and would be bringing forward its considered response in the very near future.
He said: “This is a complex, technical document with a package of proposals that appear to raise very serious issues for local homes and families because of the severe impact on everyone’s quality of life. This is why we need a huge turn-out for the Windsor exhibition so that everyone is well-informed and then we can all work together to make sure our voices are heard.
“We recommend that you don’t respond to the consultation there and then. We have until February 27 to have our say and once the council has formed its position on this document we will keep residents up to date and ensure that the government is left in no doubt about our views.”
The key issues are likely to be noise, air quality, traffic and surface access and conservation of the built and natural environment versus the perceived economic benefits of expanding the airport.
As well as the exhibition at Windsor, the DfT is also organising public exhibitions at: Cranford – Sheraton Skyline Hotel and Conference Centre (December 12); Hounslow – Montague Hall (December 15); Stanwell – Stanwell Village Hall (December 19); Colnbrook – Sheraton Heathrow Hotel (January 14); Brentford – Holiday Inn (January 16); Richmond – Adult Community College (January 18); Egham – The Jurgens Centre (January 21); Langley – Langley Community Centre (January 23): Central London (two days – dates and venue to be confirmed). Exhibitions have already been staged at Barnes and West Drayton.
The council is a member of the 2M Group (Two million voices against Heathrow expansion) – an alliance of local authorities concerned about the environmental impact of expansion at Heathrow on local communities.