Hounslow Green Party

Greens criticise fundamentally flawed consultation on Heathrow expansion

21 May 2017

Tony Firkins, the Green Party candidate for Feltham and Heston, has submitted a response to the consultation on Heathrow expansion on behalf of Hounslow Green Party.   

The Green party believes that the economic case presented for the third runway is deeply flawed.  The consultation estimates an economic benefit of £61 billion over 60 years.  This figure does not include any costs.  When all the costs are factored in, including hidden costs such as the impacts of climate change, noise and air pollution there is no benefit at all.

The consultation does not mention the recent Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which is a serious omission, and instead focusses on the inadequate targets in the 2008 Climate Change Act.  Any increase in aviation in the UK will result in either less emissions from poorer countries or more climate change impact.  Those gaining from a third runway are the wealthiest; those worst hit are the poorest people on our planet.  A third runway at Heathrow airport is completely inconsistent with the UK ratification of the Paris agreement.

There is also a lack of information about flight paths and so it is not possible to tell how people in particular locations will be impacted. 

Air pollution is already over EU limits in parts of West London and is very likely to still be over EU limits at the time of the third runway opening, should it be approved.  It is also clear that air pollution will be worsened by the third runway, yet this is downplayed.    It is inevitable that private transport to the airport will increase with the proposed third runway.

Greens attended the consultation information events and believe that the information being given is misleading.

Tony said:

“Chris Grayling claims that he is committed to consulting communities in a full and fair way. 

Only selected information is displayed in the consultation. This is not full.

The information is displayed in a distorted way. This is not fair.

The consultation document we got through our letter box was a marketing leaflet for Heathrow expansion filled with half-truths and outright lies.  For example, the economic benefits of 61 billion quoted are over 60 years and do not include the costs.  If more conventional methods to assess large projects are used the net benefit to the UK is almost nothing.

We believe the consultation is a sham, and seems designed to produce a pre-determined answer.”

Our response is available in PDF format by clicking on this link.

A detailed response to the marketing leaflet produced by Airport Watch can be found by clicking on this link. 

 







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