Runway Plans Scrapped

Barnes residents benefitted from the new Coalition Government’s plan to scrap a third runway at Heathrow this month.

Under original plans, the runway would have led to new plane take-off routes above Barnes, Mortlake, Sheen and Richmond.

The shorter runway meant larger, louder planes would have been diverted over Barnes to the existing full-length runways. Aircraft would also have flown over the area for a greater part of the day.

The runway flight path was set to fly over homes and schools in north Barnes, the latter qualifying for free sound-proofing from BAA.

The controversial plans were opposed by environmentalists, including new Richmond Park Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith.

Mr Goldsmith said: “This is hugely important on so many levels. It is a giant success for the community, and it may go some way to restoring people’s faith in political promises. We also need to protect runway alternation, and tighten the cap on night flights.”

Jan Dackenberg, Headmaster of the Swedish School on Lonsdale Road, welcomed the news, saying the runway would have caused too much noise and disruption.

Julia Bebington of Barnes Community Association, which represents a third of homes in the area, said it was fantastic.

She added: “Everyone’s fed up with it. You get woken up at five o’clock in the morning.”

Paul Hodgins, Conservative Councillor for Barnes, said: “It can be quite loud, especially in the summer when people have their windows open. It’s loud enough to wake a lot of people up.”

Mr Hodgins confirmed the Conservatives were committed to alternatives to air travel, mainly through the rail system.

“Its not about reducing travel and business in the area, just about finding better alternatives,” he said.

The plans, which were approved by the former Labour Government in 2009, would have added an estimated 400 daily flights to Heathrow.

Pre-subbed news piece produced as NCTJ coursework, 2010.

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