Huge Turnout At 'No 3rd Runway' Meet

CUsM3vxWwAAT3O4Three hundred Chiswick and West London residents gathered in St Michael and All Angel’s Church at Turnham Green for our 'No3rdRunway' Meeting.  Organised in co-operation with the Bedford Park Residents Association (BPRA) the meeting was Chaired by ex BBC journalist and Bedford Park Resident, Torin Douglas. 

Local MPs, Ruth Cadbury and Rupa Huq joined the packed meeting on the eve of the Backbench debate today on the final report of the Airports Commission.

John Stewart, the key note speaker, warned that “the impact on the local area will be devastating. Chiswick will be right under the new flight path. Around 725,000 people will be directly affected.” He explained the worrying implications for more noise and pollution in the area and explained that it is not too late to take action. Now “is not the end of our fight but the start,” he said.FullSizeRender

The Bedford Park Residents’ Association organised the meeting, with the input of CHATR and the support of The Bedford Park Society and their members heard John Stewart explain that David Cameron is expected to announce a decision before the House rises on 17 December, but, said Stewart, there is still time to influence that decision. 

Torin Douglas, former BBC media correspondent and local Chiswick resident, torin verticalwho was chairing the meeting put forward the points that have been raised by Heathrow but John Stewart countered each one, making it clear that many of the airport’s claims did not stand close scrutiny. For example research has shown that employment in West London benefits just as much if the new runway is built at Gatwick rather than Heathrow, but the impact of noise will affect a few thousand, rather than the 300,000 affected by new flightpaths at Heathrow.

TopTableShotRuth Cadbury MP, Brentford & Isleworth, who has campaigned against Heathrow expansion for 15 years, explained that she would be speaking in the Backbench  debate today on the impact of the Heathrow proposals. “Of all the options, Heathrow expansion is legally, environmentally, physically and politically the most difficult,” she explained. Gary Malcolm, Councillor Southfield Ward and Peter Eversden, Chairman, the Bedford Park Society spoke forcefully about residents’ concerns about pollution, noise and traffic congestion.

Already research from University College London has shown levels of PM10s, the small particulates that lodge in the lungs, can reach six times the legal limit along the Chiswick High Road and levels of NO2 at sites along the A4 and M4 have been recorded at 5 times the legal limits. Once the  government gives the go ahead to Heathrow it is hard to see how it will have any significant leverage, explained Peter Eversden, if the airport fails to comply with regulations over noise and pollution. Rupa Huq, MP Ealing Central & Acton also spoke persuasively against further Heathrow expansion.

The strength of feeling against the Third Runway became evident from the audience questions. Worries were raised about security with so many planes overflying the capital, the new flightpaths, noise, the extent of the pollution for each take off and landing cycle as well as the destruction of homes.  

Hamish Pringle, for CHATR caught the mood of the meeting when he asked the entire audience to stand, waving their Third Runway maps showing the flightpaths crossing the area in red and led the audience in a resounding chorus repeating David Cameron’s personal pledge: “No ifs, no buts, no third runway.” He then asked the audience to draft letters to the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer expressing their protest. CHATR distributed writing paper and pens to the audience and the church fell silent as everyone started drafting letters.

A full set of photos is available on the CHATR Facebook page here.For info on the BPRA please visit their website  or email their Chairman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.