Council Leader calls for Heathrow consultation deadline to be postponed beyond 27 February 2008

January 25, 2008 at 1:49 am | Posted in 2M Group, Airport, Aviation, BAA, Department for Transport, DfT, Economics, Heathrow, Heathrow airport, Heathrow expansion, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Public Consultation, Richmond upon Thames, Stop Heathrow Expansion, URGENT!, Wandsworth | Leave a comment

New call for Heathrow consultation to be extended

An urgent call for the Government’s consultation into proposed expansion at Heathrow airport to be extended was issued this week by the Leader of Richmond Council, Cllr Serge Lourie.

The three month long consultation will run until 27 February 2008.

And this week Cllr Lourie said the matter was too important to rush and the deadline should be extended by two months.

He was speaking after a delegation from the 2M Group, an alliance of local authorities fighting to halt airport expansion, attended a London Assembly scrutiny hearing into the Government’s airport plans.

The hearing was told by BAA that it could offer no promises that the current expansion proposals would be the last.

BAA Chief Executive, Stephen Nelson, assured the hearing that there were no covert plans for future expansion; he was simply ruling nothing out and nothing in.

The four local authorities represented, Richmond, Wandsworth, Hillingdon and Hounslow, called for a full cost-benefit analysis of how expansion would affect London’s economy. They argued that it was not good enough for ministers to rely on assessments largely paid for by the aviation industry.

The Councils also warned that air pollution could not be contained within EU limits.

Speaking on behalf of the 2M Group, Cllr Lourie said:

“If Ministers will not go back to the drawing board and start again they should at the very least extend the consultation by two months. This is too important to rush.

“People need time to consider the full implications of an expansion that is equivalent to creating a new airport the size of Gatwick in the most densely populated part of the country.

“We will do everything in our power to prevent these plans becoming a reality.

“As became obvious from BAA’s comments this week, Londoners can have absolutely no confidence that these expansion proposals will be the last.”

Release Date: 23/01/2008

Reference: 24/08

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