Richings Park residents to hold second Public Meeting over Heathrow’s Colnbrook Runway plans

In the absence of a public meeting in Colnbrook over Heathrow’s expansion plans, residents are being advised instead to join a second public session with airport bosses in Richings Park in 4 weeks’ time.

Despite holding an exhibition during the flooding and a disappointing survey, Heathrow Airport has joined residents at public meetings where invited.

Despite holding an exhibition during the flooding and a disappointing survey, Heathrow Airport HAS joined residents at public meetings where invited.

Sir Howard Davies has visited Hounslow to hear about the impact of a Third Runway. Heathrow Hub Ltd meanwhile has presented its plans to Windsor & Maidenhead council.

Next Saturday will mark 200 days since the Davies Commission shortlisted both a Colnbrook and Poyle option as a Third Runway for Heathrow, along with a second runway at Gatwick. All we know for sure is that the Airports Commission will recommend one additional runway in the south-east.

But Colnbrook remains the ONLY local community where residents have had no opportunity yet to discuss their concerns directly with either the scheme proponent or the Airports Commission.  Ironic, given it is ground zero in both  shortlisted options.

Members of the Airports Commission visited Hounslow last Tuesday – an area expected to see airport noise reduced by Heathrow Airport’s revised north-west proposal.  Members of the Davies Commission visited Beavers Primary School to hear what impact the runway could have on the school, local environment and economy.

Windsor & Maidenhead’s aviation forum was given a presentation on the proposal by Heathrow Hub, on June 11, just as the Parish Council’s newsletter went to press with the message that the company “do not feel ready to hold a full public exhibition of their proposal”.   Yesterday the forum expressed concerns about the level of noise that would be generated from the scheme, but said it appreciated Hub’s honesty in its presentation.

Heathrow’s claim to Davies that it held 13 exhibitions for local communities in the run up to its updated submission may have caused snorts.  It did hold one in Colnbrook, while a number of streets were knee-deep in water.  The airport told Colnbrook Views at the time that it was open to arranging a follow-up when the flooding had subsided.

Nevertheless, the airport has demonstrated it is willing to come and talk to communities in a public meeting forum when invited.

  • Heathrow’s Director of strategy Andrew McMillan addressed the Maidenhead Chamber of Commerce at a meeting held in Cookham’s Moor Hall on Wednesday, June 11.
  • Heathrow discussed the impact of its proposals with the Langley Neighbourhood Forum in March, when Jonathan Deegan, Head of Policy, joined John Stewart of HACAN (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise).
  • The Richings Park Residents’ Association on February 4th, 2014 gave Heathrow the opportunity to explain their proposal for the North West Runway expansion.  Their slide presentation can be viewed here.  Heathrow also provided written answers to questions they were unable to answer.
  • Just prior to Heathrow’s submission to the Airports Commission last December Stanwell Moor and Wraysbury both held packed public meetings attended by the airport.

Parish Chair Peter Hood told residents he had spent a day with representatives of Heathrow to give them his view on the impact of additional freight on the village.  He and cohort Mike Rayner, continuing to represent the Colnbrook Residents Association, have also attended the Local Focus Forum, but meeting minutes show little challenge to the airport’s plans.

Last December Cllr Dexter Smith said he would be inviting the Davies Commission to come to Colnbrook, telling residents:

We have to try over the next 18 months to convince them that there would be a devastating environmental and social costs here if it went ahead.

If you want an opportunity to get closer to the plans and put your concerns first hand to the airport, a further public meeting is to be held by the proactive Richings Park Residents Association.  The meeting, which will be open to the public, will be held at Richings Park Sports Club in Wellesley Avenue on Wednesday, July 23 at 7.30pm.

Heathrow Airport will, again, be in attendance and taking questions.


Heathrow Vs Gatwick war of words continues

While where to put a new runway is seen by all parties as a political hot potato there is increasing pressure for a Heathrow option.

Despite an upbeat assessment of his airport’s chances ahead of a return to profit by the Gatwick CEO, four Kent parish councils yesterday wrote to the Airports Commission to claim an additional runway at Gatwick would damage local tourism and the environment.

They follow hot on the footsteps last week of a group of five Tory MPs, representing Sussex, Surrey and Kent, who announced they were campaigning against Gatwick – which, they said, would be “a disaster” for communities and the environment.

Perhaps more significantly, the Chinese ambassador wrote to the Government 2 weeks ago to demand expansion at Heathrow.  Speaking ahead of a visit to London next week by China’s Premier Li Keqiang, the ambassador said the lack of capacity was a problem for three Chinese carriers who wanted to increase the number of slots they had.

“We’d like to see an increase in capacity in Heathrow airport,” Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to Britain told a news conference in London. He said the British government had told him the airport, the world’s third busiest by passenger numbers, had reached capacity, adding: “we expect Heathrow will have a third runway”.


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