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Heathrow third runway will go ahead, say BAA

Airport operator BAA has denied Conservative claims that it is backing down over the third runway at Heathrow.

          Shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers claimed last week that BAA has accepted that there would not be a third runway under Tory rule as it was not delaying the third runway planning application until after the general election.

          BAA refute that it has delayed the application and has said that preparations for the planning application are still ongoing.

“We remain convinced that a third runway is the only viable, costed and thought through way of meeting the need for extra runway capacity to maintain this country’s global connections to the rest of the world, particularly in an era where long haul links to markets such as China and India are increasingly important,” said a BAA spokesman.

“The process of putting in a planning application is complex, particularly given the new planning structure put in place as recently as October 1st. The process was always going to take until after the general election. We continue to work on the application and will take as long as is necessary to prepare a proper submission.”

A new runway at Heathrow has proved highly controversial, with the Conservatives pledging to abandon the third runway and instead build high speed rail lines to service capacity from London to the North West.

Readers' comments (2)

  • This is a bit confusing because clearly BAA were never intending to start construction of a third runway before the next election as they still have to go through planning.
    And the BAA spokesperson is quoted as saying "the (planning) process was always going to take until after the general election". So what exactly has been put "on hold"?
    Perhaps others expected them to put their planning application in before the next general election?

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  • BAA have not made any effort to alleviate the blight in the area. Properties cannot be sold and the Human Rights of the residents are being violated. BAA claim that they have almost bought all the properties required for expansion at Stansted and yet at Heathrow they have done nothing.
    BAA required funding from the major carriers at Heathrow in order to proceed buying properties, apparently BMI is the airline holding everything up.

    Even though they admit that some residents are living in untenable circumstances, BAA won't take responsibility for their actions.

    Even if BAA scrap the plans, the area will remain blighted for many years to come. It's about time that BAA and the Government did something about this.

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