50dB or 57dB? What’s 7dB here or there to you?February 10, 2008 at 2:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
By Paul Cahalan
More than 200 Battersea residents were shocked to learn they would not be consulted on controversial plans to expand Heathrow Airport as they are “not affected”.
The group gathered at Belleville Primary School last Tuesday to hear speakers such as John Stewart, of the anti-expansion group, Hacan, discuss the proposals.
Mr Stewart said the level of opposition to the Government’s plan was unique. “This is probably the biggest campaign ever against any airport expansion in the UK,” he said. “Battersea residents can expect an increase of nine decibels from plane noise if plans go-ahead but you won’t be consulted because you live outside the 57 decibel area, so the Government says you are not affected.”
The 57 decibel contour is the level at which the Government says people are affected by plane noise.
However a seven-year independent noise report, ANASE, concluded the contour should be drawn around 51 decibels.
That report was later rubbished by a Government peer group – weeks before the consultation began.
As well as the noise impact, the economic and environmental impacts were discussed.
The leader of Wandsworth Council, Edward Lister, said: “We realise Heathrow is important, we don’t want to stop people flying but we feel the expansion is unsustainable . . . and it is our job to stand up for the quality of life of our citizens.”
Battersea MP Martin Linton added: “The whole of Battersea and Clapham is within the 54 decibel limit . . . there is a very strong case against Heathrow.
“Nearly, if not all, London MPs have come out against it and for the record I say Heathrow is in a stupid place. It creates a ridiculous situation where most of the aircraft land over the head of the most populated part of the island.”
Residents left the meeting incensed.
Audrey Hewett, of Clapham Common West Side, said: “I have lived by Clapham Common for 37 years and the noise wakes me up most mornings.
“I am 86 now and at my time of life I don’t want to move, but what I don’t understand is everyone is against it.
The government is supposed to be doing what we want, not what they want.”
Nigel Martin, of Battersea, said: “I’m really pleased I came tonight. I thought we wouldn’t be affected here in Battersea as they are in Putney, but clearly we will be. It is shocking to think the Government are not consulting people in Battersea over this.”
Residents were urged to make their views known before the consultation ends on February 27.