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Havering envionrmentalists hit out at council over airport expansion plans

PUBLISHED: 19:00 02 February 2014

London City Airport plans have caused concern amongst residents. Picture: PA

London City Airport plans have caused concern amongst residents. Picture: PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Environmentalists have taken aim at Havering Council for not opposing plans to expand London City Airport (LCY).

Following a recent public consultation about changes in airspace for LCY, Havering Friends of the Earth (FoE) have hit out at the council, claiming it “never opposes anything.”

If plans are successful, the airport will accommodate up to 120,000 take offs and landings per year (currently 70,000) a level already permitted under an application granted in 2009.

The proposals will also allow the airport to double its passenger numbers to six million over the next ten years.

FoE coordinator, Rosina Purcell, said: “The expansion will mean larger jets overflying Havering more frequently, especially at peak hours.

“We don’t accept that it needs expanding. There are planes overflying built up areas, causing noise pollution.”

But the council defended its decision.

Cllr Barry Tebbutt, cabinet member for the environment, said: “We did not make any representations about the planning application because it is in line with the approved expansion of the airport.

“The extra flights could bring additional investment in the borough.”

Rosina also claimed that the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) Consultation, which closed last week, was conducted before plans for further expansion had been decided.

Rosina added: “The most serious issue is that the consultation is being conducted before anyone knows the result of this planning application.”

Developed by the Civil Aviation Authority, the consultation is proposing changes to the airspace structure in the south of the country as a result of advances in aircraft technology and navigation.

They changes will affect Havering as flights landing at the airport often fly over the borough.

One of the proposed airspace “swathes” for departure routes stretches from Havering-Atte-Bower in the north to Upminster in the south.

Rosina added: “There is a lot of concern about aircraft noise in Havering, and this consultation did not really hit the spot.

“It certainly has not addressed all the needs of the people.”

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