Thursday, September 16News For London

Pollution Concerns Delay Heathrow Expansion

A new runway at Heathrow will not be built until the airport can demonstrate its ability to meet required air quality standards.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

At a meeting last week, a committee of MPs advised that the planned expansion at Heathrow should not be approved until the airport can show it will be able to meet pollution target.

David Cameron had previously said the decision would be made by the end of the year. But plans to expand the airport received backlash from MPs and local residents.

Labour MP and Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, Huw Irranca-Davies, warned that going ahead with the expansion without addressing green concerns “could lead to legal challenges as a result of the potential damage to public health from increased air pollution and noise”.

The decision will now be delayed by six months and after London’s mayoral elections. A former advisor to David Cameron, Rohan Silva, told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show that the environmental concerns “give the government permission to delay the decision until after May 2016 when the London mayoral election has taken place”.

The Telegraph reports 30 MPs earlier wrote to Mr Cameron to “press ahead” with the project. The website also said the Prime Minister was facing threats of resignations from senior Tories who “broke into open conflict over plans for a new runway at Heathrow.”

Meanwhile, a Heathrow spokesman told The Times: “Britain can be confident that our new plan will connect the whole nation to global growth while providing opportunities for the local community and making Heathrow the most environmentally responsible hub airport in the world.”