A proposed expansion of London City Airport has been recommended for planning approval by the London Borough of Newham – if it pays for soundproofing measures to protect residents.
The airport in London’s Royal Docks, which currently serves 3.7 million passengers a year, wants to carry out infrastructure improvements which would allow it to carry up to eight million passengers annually by 2030. The operators say this can be achieved without an additional runway, and with minimal changes to the site’s boundaries.
However, the application has proved contentious with 1,330 objections to the plans, against 21 letters of support. The proposals will be heard by Newham’s development committee next week.
Council officers have said the development should go ahead, subject to the following conditions:
- Limiting the number of permitted actual flights from 120,000 a year currently to 111,000.
- A limit of 6.5 million passengers passing through the airport a year, with quarterly reports submitted to the council.
- A limit of no more than 45 ‘movements’ of planes an hour. This includes the condition previously set that between 6.30am and 6.59am Monday to Saturday there will only be six ‘movements’ allowed and only two of these can take place between 6.30am and 6.45am.
- The noisiest night time construction piling work can only take place during 32 weekends, minimising the disruption to residents during the working week.
- A noise barrier must be constructed on the south side of the site during the construction period.
As well as these controls, the proposed section 106 agreement calls for the airport to make a commitment of £6.8M towards employment, education and training in the borough, with £4.9M being channelled directly to Newham residents using the council’s job brokerage scheme Workplace.
A package of soundproofing for residents affected during construction has also been set. This includes a commitment from the airport to pay 100% of the costs of soundproofing measures for residents most impacted by the noise of the airport, which will be reviewed every five years.
Other benefits for the community will be funding to bolster transport services including a bus turnaround at the new Custom House Crossrail station and opening Hartmann Road to all transport types.
The commitment to continuously monitor air quality and to publish the data on a website will continue, as well as regular meetings of the Airport Consultative Committee for residents and councillors.
If Newham’s development committee grants planning permission, the decision will be referred to the Mayor of London.