Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall

Contact: Andy Carswell 

Audio-recording: To listen, click here or to download and listen later, right click and save as an mp3

No. Item




The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Chris Nash.



To receive any declarations of interest.


None received.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on May 1st 2018.


The minutes of the meeting held on 1st May2018 were agreed as an accurate record.


Councillor Beer requested that in item ‘Heathrow Strategic Planning Group’ and in the first paragraph, the sentence ‘Members were reminded that the DCO would go straight to government’ be changed to ‘Members were reminded that the DCO would go straight to the planning inspectorate’.



To consider any matters arising.


Councillor Hilton requested further information on the Heathrow Strategic Planning Group and was informed by the Chairman that he would be attending the next HSPG meeting along with Head of Planning and would report back at the next Forum.


The Chairman went through the draft response to the CAA Draft Airspace Strategy (Document Attached), question by question as follows:


The Council made representations to the following six questions set out within the consultation:


1. Do you agree with the overall approach taken in the strategy, as described here?


The general agreement was that in terms of the strategy, it was weak in many areas and did not take an overarching view.


2. Has the CAA identified the right Government policies in this strategy?


The health impacts had been underestimated. There were significant health impacts due to sleep deprivation, affecting work life in adults and school education in children. There was evidence that an increase in noise and pollution was seen to lead to dementia and obesity in children, currently being researched further. There was specific health statistics from Hillingdon Council and a comparison between north and south of the borough. Residents living in the south of the borough died seven years earlier compared to north of the borough. Heathrow Airport was south of the borough. Another study from Eton College found that standards were six months behind of those who had suffered aircraft noise.


3. Do you agree with the 14 initiatives set out in the strategy?


4. Have we identified the right gaps? Are there any that we have not identified?


5. Do you agree with our approach of asking those organisations tasked with delivering the initiatives to set out deployment plans to identify the means (resources) necessary?


6. The draft governance structure in this document was developed by the Department for Transport, CAA and NATS working together. Do you agree with the approach set out here?


The full responses can be found in the attached document.


The Forum thanked Chris Nash for all the work done to date.     



To receive a verbal update on the legal challenge to the Heathrow National Policy Statement.


The Chairman read out some notes provided by Chris Nash. Unfortunately, not much detail was provided as much of the content of the challenge was still being legally privileged.


The information that Chris Nash had provided was as follows:


  1. Government had confirmed on 25th June 2018, their support for the construction of a third runway at an expanded London Heathrow Airport through a vote in the House of Commons.


  1. Following this vote, the Secretary of State designated the Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), opening a six week legal window, closing on 6th August 2018; during which claimants would be able to bring forward a challenge to the scheme. Such a challenge would be in the form of a judicial review (JR) and would be designed to hold government to account over the legalities of the scheme proposed – principally the impacts of deteriorating air quality and associated impacts.


  1. Advice from our Counsel, Nigel Pleming QC, was being provided to partners of the previous four borough group (RBWM, LB Hillingdon, Richmond and Wandsworth), and the new partners in LB Hammersmith & Fulham, Greenpeace and the Mayor of London.


  1. It was the opinion of Counsel that our principal showstopper argument on air quality remained from previous action taken in January 2017, with an acknowledged small risk that such arguments could be further deferred by a judge to within a later planning process.


  1. Other grounds put forward within our case related to:
    1. Inadequate Surface Access Considerations
    2. Failures to meet the requirements in the habitats directive
    3. Climate Change Obligations
    4. Failure to meet Strategic Environmental Assessment Requirements
    5. And failure in the manner the consultation was undertaken.


  1. RBWM, through consideration by members accepted the recommendation to pursue action on this basis, so that the correct environmental tests could be formalised, upon which the scheme could be judged/rejected. As such our case was put forward to the High Court by the deadline, together with a series of witness statements from various experts and those with experience of aspects associated with expansion.


  1. The cost of this action was likely to be in the region of £100,000 and as such the decision was not taken lightly. Officers will be in frequent communication with our legal team at Harrison Grant to ensure that this exposure can be minimised.


  1. It should be noted that, dependent on the government’s formal response, a court hearing is likely to occur at the end of 2018, or at the beginning of 2019.


This timescale was expected to be confirmed in the coming month, with further communications to follow.


The Forum raised the following points:

·         There was no national airspace strategy and national airspace had not been agreed yet but still agreeing to proceed. Many things needed to be put into place before moving forward.

·         The infrastructure, both physical and structural and community wise had not been highlighted sufficiently. RBWM already had enormous problems with planning and by Heathrow increasing its activity by 24%, this would make them worse. The roads, rails, rivers and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.



To receive updates regarding key developments from the Heathrow Community Engagement Board, the Local Authority Aircraft Noise Council, and the Heathrow Community Noise Forum.


The Chairman attended the last Heathrow Community Engagement Board and reported that all attendees were allocated a seat at a table with others. The entire meeting was a shambles. The had been no objective and no one was aware of where it was going. At the last meeting, the Agenda was left unfinished and was supposed to be completed at this meeting but it wasn’t. Councillor Beer had also attended the meeting and agreed with the Chairman.


Councillor Hilton attended the Heathrow Community Noise Forum after the Heathrow Community Engagement Board and agreed that unfortunately the speaker had no experience on the subject and was not au-fait with airports and was a meeting where nothing was really said. However they said the Board would be run by a board of Directors, there was no knowledge of who would appoint the directors. It would be steered by Heathrow and Department of Transport.


Councillor Beer informed the Panel that LAANC was in some turmoil. The previous administrator had suddenly died and none had yet filled the position. However, a retired environmental inspector had been appointed as the new administrator. The LAANC AGM would be at the end of September 2018, out of sync with the other groups. The new administrator was already working on approving and improving the LAANC website, which would be up and running soon. A similar report to Chris Nash was also being prepared by the Director. Councillor Beer informed the Forum that LAANC had gained a couple on new Surrey Councillors, all with a wealth of knowledge and Slough Borough Council had withdrawn its membership from LAANC.


Councillor Hilton had attended a Community Noise Forum, from which there were many presentations that would be very informative for the Forum. Councillor Hilton would agree with the Chairman what should be presented to the Aviation Forum. The Community Noise Forum had agreed that an independent technical advisor was needed and also a governance document was required, which was currently being written. All would then sign up to it. The group can now reach a consensus view and were a more powerful group of people. Councillor Hilton was also going to look further into monetarisation of health issues.


Any Other Business


Paul Groves, resident, asked whose policy it was to pursue the judicial review and was informed by the Chairman that it was the Council’s policy to pursue the JR. The Council took the decision to work with the other four local authorities to seek a JR. Councillor Kellaway gave the view of the Maidenhead Constituency, not RBWM, in the report that was published in the press.


Paul Groves, resident, also pointed out that residents in Maidenhead felt they were not going to be affected by the third runway. The Forum agreed.



To note the dates of future meetings:


November 27th 2018

February 14th 2018


The Forum noted the dates of future meetings.