The House of Commons has been asked to approve the expansion of Heathrow Airport in principle.
As I said in 2016, I was disappointed that the Government decided to only build a new runway at Heathrow. I believe that Gatwick could be delivered in a quicker, cheaper and more environmentally friendly way than Heathrow. This would have allowed Heathrow the time to put in place stronger measures to mitigate the noise and air quality deficits of a third runway.
I have always accepted we need better infrastructure in this country, which businesses are desperately crying out for, but this cannot be at the expense of environmental concerns – particularly the noise of flights and increased pollution.
I have taken up the issue of aircraft noise over Wimbledon in the past. It appears that the increase in noise happens due to easterly operations, which is about 30% of the time.
The key for Wimbledon is the new flight path plan, which are as yet undefined. The key for London is how to mitigate the environmental and noise problems and exactly how the surface transport will be paid for, which has not been made clear.
Given this lack of information I abstained from voting last night. I will continue to press Heathrow to spell out the impact on Wimbledon, and there will be further opportunities for Parliament to consider Heathrow expansion as more details become available.
I would be extremely interested to hear your views on this issue. When I last surveyed residents on Heathrow expansion views were split. If you would like to share your views, please do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org