Epsom & Ewell Borough Council have formally responded to the latest Heathrow Airport expansion consultation.
The council expressed disappointment in the lack of clear, relevant information to enable an informed response, especially given that Heathrow’s proposals are well advanced.
Councillor Neil Dallen, Chair of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee said ‘for us and our residents, being able to understand how the Heathrow proposals will alter the number, height and timings of flights across the borough, along with associated environmental impacts such as noise, in direct comparison to what is currently experienced is essential. The absence of such information is frustrating and makes it extremely difficult to evaluate the impacts”.
The council’s greatest concern is that the proposed airspace changes and airport expansion will result in a significant increase in the number of flights across the borough. The proposals suggest that Epsom and Ewell is likely to be overflown far more frequently and at a lower altitude.
Councillor Dallen added “The proposals for Heathrow expansion specify additional flights operating as low as 3,000 feet at a frequency of up to 64 flights per hour. This will bring significant negative impacts such as increased air pollution, which will be extremely detrimental to the amenity, health and wellbeing of our residents. This is unacceptable”.
In the response to this latest consultation the council also raised a strong objection to the relaxation of the night flight ban, the duration of which appears to be contracting, and the absence of a cap on the number of take offs and landings.
Councillor Dallen commented “Overall from the information provided, it is unclear what controls will be in place to limit climate change and other adverse environmental aspects arising from the airport expansion and we will be pressing Heathrow to publish clear information about the environmental and health effects arising from their expansion plans and future airspace changes.
“While Heathrow Airport may argue that there are wider benefits to their proposals, these should not be to the detriment of Epsom and Ewell residents, workers, school, college and university students and businesses, especially the area’s long-standing horse racing industry.
“We hope that further Heathrow engagement with local communities potentially impacted by the proposals will be carried out in a more meaningful and transparent way”.
Details of the consultation ending 13 September, can be found here
Press release: Epsom & Ewell Borough Council