A bid to win local support for Heathrow Airport’s expansion programme has begun with the publication of proposals to spend £700M on noise insulation for homes, and £40M on schools.
Residents in the proposed Heathrow expansion zone have been subject to a charm offensive from the government. Plans for noise mitigation for homes and schools are detailed in a new Department for Transport leaflet promoting the public consultation period for the draft airports National Policy Statement (NPS), which ends on 25 May.
The leaflet, sent to around 1.5M homes, was described as “rushed and short” in a counter-flyer published by the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Richmond and Wandsworth and Windsor & Maidenhead Borough Council.
Meanwhile the House of Commons transport select committee has launched an inquiry into the draft airports NPS, and is collecting evidence on the strength of the policy statement until 24 March.
Heathrow has already announced a £2.6bn mitigation package for the local community as part of its bid for a third runway.
Concerns are growing about higher emissions from the proposed third Heathrow runway. The House of Commons environmental audit committee released a report slamming the “scant detail” available on government’s approach to carbon emissions. It questioned whether other sectors would have to drastically slash their emissions to compensate.
“The Airports Commission was clear that Heathrow can be expanded while reducing noise for local communities, in accordance with air quality requirements and the Government’s carbon goals for aviation,” said a Heathrow Airport Ltd spokesperson.
“Heathrow is determined to operate and grow our airport sustainably and we look forward to working with all stakeholders throughout the planning process to ensure that an expanded Heathrow meets these objectives.
“For example, we’ve committed to work with others to transform public transport to tackle the real source of emissions – road vehicles – and will insulate up to 160,000 homes from aircraft noise.”