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Heathrow Expansion

April 13, 2015 5:09 PM

The Brentford Community Council

9 April 2015

Dear Sirs,

Liberal Democrats remain steadfastly opposed to any expansion of Heathrow for a simple reason - the environmental impact. The impact on air pollution, on noise pollution, particularly on people, living under the flight path. It's absolutely vital that politicians stick to the pledge of no third runway at Heathrow to protect the health of the community and improve air quality.

London air quality is the worst in Europe. The addition of a third runway at Heathrow at a time when we are failing to meet EU air quality standards would only increase the high levels of dangerous airborne particles in this area of West London and further harm local resident's health.

People living near to Heathrow are plagued by incessant noise from passing aircraft. This has had a serious impact on their health with many suffering increased stress levels, and seriously disturbed sleep. It is time we started putting people first and taking the fight to clean up the capital's air far more seriously.

In a personal capacity, I have served as Chair of the Association of British Travel Agents' aviation committee and supported the Terminal 5 development. I am clear that existing services at Heathrow must be protected, but not further expanded in any way that has a detrimental environmental impact. I support maintenance of the status quo position on air traffic levels with a continued focus on reduction of both air and noise pollution levels.

The Davies commission will not report until after the election, but I believe the recommendations will come down to a choice between expansion at Heathrow or Gatwick. The interim publication suggested Gatwick would be a better choice for expansion if 'point to point' travel is the way the future of air travel is expected to go.

With the announcement today of the discovery of a major oil field just north of Gatwick, I would expect that (despite the legitimate concerns of many of my fellow Liberal Democrats), major development of this area of Surrey is inevitable in the coming years - both in terms of Oil and Gas infrastructure and UK aviation capacity.

Joe Bourke
Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Candidate for Brentford and Isleworth