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Heathrow expansion consultation lacks ‘sufficient detail’ on community impact, council officer claims

The Heathrow expansion consultation does not have ‘sufficient detail for us to fully understand the impact on communities’, a council officer has warned.

At an aviation forum meeting at York House in Windsor on Thursday, residents and councillors received an update on the airport’s third runway consultation from Chris Joyce, infrastructure and community and investment levy (CIL) manager at the Royal Borough.

Together with council colleagues and the Heathrow strategic planning group, Mr Joyce is calling for more consultation before expansion plans are submitted.

He told the meeting: “There isn’t sufficient information at this stage to be able to assess the impacts on communities and therefore properly judge whether mitigation can be provided and whether that might or might not be acceptable by communities close to the airport.”

Concerns over increased noise pollution caused by a third runway is a key issue in the borough’s response to the expansion plans.

The consultation states a number of areas in the borough will be significantly impacted by noise.

But Mr Joyce said: “At this stage there isn’t information in the consultation to tell us what the exact noise impacts will be.”

Another point raised was surface access and traffic during the airport’s expansion, which would continue until 2050.

Heathrow has identified the A308 as an area which will be impacted and is working on ways to improve this.

The meeting heard other traffic problems will arise from the 25,000 additional movements off runways, works on the surrounding area and potential problems with resilience as traffic poses risks to narrow lanes with less capacity.

Cllr David Hilton (Con, Ascot & Sunninghill) said: “We all need to battle to make sure these issues are addressed.”

Summarising the key points of the borough’s response, Mr Joyce said: “Consultation is premature and there is not enough information to assess the impact on communities.

“We recommend more consultation before anything is submitted.”

In a statement, Heathrow said: “Our current master plan has been developed with extensive expert and local community input over many years. We look forward to further refining this plan before an extensive planning permission process gets underway – providing more public scrutiny.”

The final response is due on Friday, September 13.

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