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Richmond leader demands 'HS2-style review' of Heathrow third runway

Richmond leader demands 'HS2-style review' of Heathrow third runway

Richmond Council's leader is urging the Secretary of State for Transport to review the current proposals for Heathrow's expansion to see if it really 'stacks up.'

Councillor Gareth Roberts raised his concerns after MP Grant Shapps, called for a Government- commissioned independent review into the future of the HS2 railway route - which has had a number of issues due to its budget and design.

Cllr Roberts said: “The foundation for our legal case is that the Government has not looked at the proposals carefully enough.

"We have been clear that the previous Secretary of State failed to consult properly on noise, failed to look at how the effect of expansion would impact local plans and failed to properly consider the significant adverse impact on protected habitats."

Richmond is one of four councils currently campaigning against Heathrow's expansion alongside the Mayor of London and action group Greenpeace.

All parties involved believe that an expansion could only be made possible if homes in surrounding areas were demolished, as well as Londoners and residents living in the home counties being able to accept noise and air pollution as a way of life.

The campaigners say the airport's expansion will create major increases in road traffic for freight and passengers - which, in turn, will make pollution even worse and could become catastrophic for the environment.

The Council will join others in the Court of Appeal to challenge the Government’s decision which allows the expansion to go ahead, with the four-day appeal hearing against Heathrow starting in October.

An independent review could also determine whether the proposal 'stacks up,' on financial grounds and could help MP Shapps to for fill his promise of taking a closer look into the case for building a third runway.

The Council Leader has stated that he would like the Secretary of State for Transport to move with haste, before any more money is spent on the project.

In his letter which is addressed to the Minister, Cllr Gareth Roberts said: “There is still time to review this project before any lasting effect on our country and our environment for future generations. I have no doubt that history will judge a third runway a Heathrow as one of the environmentally damaging decisions taken in a generation.

"We simply mustn’t let this happen on our watch.

“The financial case for this expansion does not stack up.

"And whilst Heathrow claim that the expansion would be fully funded by the airport, this isn’t true.

"Billions of pounds of tax payers’ money will need to be spent to providing the local infrastructure to enable the airport to expand if it is to get anywhere close to meeting the legal air quality limits
“Our request is simple, before one more tax-payers pound is spent on this red herring, I urge Mr Shapps to make good on his concerns and commission a full review.

"Only this will expose the truth about how disastrous expansion will be for our environment and our health.

“I urge Mr Shapps and the new Prime Minister, let’s not wait until there is a need to lie down in front of any bull dozers.

"This can end now.”
See the full letter here.

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