Heathrow Expansion Consultation
To receive an update on the latest Heathrow Expansion Consultation.
The Chairman stated Heathrow were running their fourth consultation of 2019 and he urged residents to go along to the Windsor Roadshow on 24 August at Alma Road to view it and provide feedback. There was also a Roadshow in Staines on the 16 August and in Ascot on the 21 August 2019. The Chairman explained the M25 would be bridged in three places instead of two and there had been no reference to Terminal 6 which had been delayed during construction.
The Chairman stated he was invited to various consultations and it was admitted in an email Heathrow proposed to proceed with alternating the runways so effectively, the Cranford Agreement was being abandoned which would result in waiting another four years or more till there was relief from the overhead aircraft in Windsor.
With regards to the traffic in Windsor, the A308 would get busier as people avoided the M4 and M25; there would be construction mayhem as the tunnel is built and the A4 would be moved too. Construction was likely to continue until 2040 or 2050. Eton was becoming increasingly aware of the noise as aircraft will be 200ft lower as the runway would be one mile nearer to Windsor. There was already a request for 25,000 aircraft movements now, Heathrow were not waiting for the extra runway to increase flights.
The Community Protection Principal said the consultation was running until 13 September 2019 and could be found at www.heathrowconsultation.com. Modelling had been done to show the increased congestion on the A308 but, Heathrow had not accounted for what those journeys would be for. Datchet and Horton would see a doubling of noise and that would be crippling with no precise mitigation identified. A paper had been presented at Full Council and was almost unanimously voted on to proceed with the three strands of work the Community Protect Principal had been working on. The CIL Manager added he had joined the borough from his role at Heathrow and so he had a good knowledge of the airport and all the issues. He would be entering into bilateral discussions looking at four key themes to secure the best possible deals for residents such as much more comprehensive compensation for affected residents plus investments in parks and open spaces, improved public transport and cycle routes with the Western Rail Link to Heathrow.
The CIL Manager was keen to ensure economic development programme around jobs and skills as the Borough was removed as one of the Boroughs included in the programmes. Heathrow were proposing an independent body to scrutinise air quality, traffic and noise so he was working with other local authorities to ensure Heathrow were meeting its obligations and targets. The CIL Manager stated the key points of response was to have much more stringent approach to pollution and the Council would make representations to make the tests more stringent to hole Heathrow to account.
Parish Councillor Beer stated the Development Consent Order Consultation was the only passage there was to make comments because all of the comments received would be packaged up and put before the planning inspectorate. There would not be a planning enquiry and the planning inspectorate would decide on what the complaints and observations were. The Council and the public would only have until September 2019 to submit comments but, everyone should get on and do it now, because it was not just about noise and air pollution, it was about all the development which was going to go on top of the Borough’s current problems. The A308 problem was already there now, there were a lot of traffic jams all the way up to the motorways most evenings for two and a quarter miles, because Satnavs were diverting people away from the chaos that was the M4 and M25. The chaos was happening now and Heathrow were going to increase movements by 54% and they weren’t going to spend any money on roads or infrastructure outside of their perimeter, that spending would fall upon the public budget. However, there was not space to widen roads through built up areas, so traffic jams would continue. Parish Councillor Beer added it was a planning issue; more office blocks were being built and Heathrow were talking about the economy being enhanced but, the areas surrounding Heathrow were the most expensive places in the country to run a business and to live in. it was absolute stupidity and the Council had to get that message across and it had to be part of the consultation.
So much time had been wasted already and there had not been an Aviation Forum since April 2019 and the next one was not until mid-August 2019 and that was diabolical. There would not be the opportunity to comment on the consultation after September 2019 and the report that went to Cabinet did not grasp the planning aspect of the situation; there was no mention of the Planning Act of 2008 relating to major infrastructure projects. Parish Councillor Beer exclaimed it was a total disaster looming and there should be a big public meeting on the issues. There were not many people that understood the whole picture; opposing the third runway would not threaten jobs, Heathrow were talking about creating an extra 70,000 jobs and doubling cargo traffic.
The Chairman thanked Parish Councillor Beers comments, saying he had worked with him for four years on Heathrow and shared his sentiments. He added he had spoken to Eton Town Council and Eton Residents Association but everyone is forgetting the elephant in the room which is Heathrow. The Chairman said he would not compliment the Community Protection Principal enough on the work he carried out and he pleaded with Councillors to reply to the consultation individually.
Councillor Knowles stated the next Aviation Forum was due to take place on 22 August 2019 and it was very close to the wire to address any points. He queries if the meeting could be brought forward. The Community Protection Principal responded there were thousands of pages of material to get through and he wanted to go through it all very thoroughly which was why that date for the next Aviation Forum had been chosen. Once all the information had been digested, he would go to all Councillors with all that information. If the meeting was brought forward, it would mean Members would have a lesser service. The CIL Manager stated the work was going on right now so that the best service possible could be provided. The Chairman stated he wished he had more people attended the Aviation Forum and urged members of the public to attend the next meeting of the Aviation Forum on the 22 August 2019.