|Rethinking Heathrow Noise|
Hounslow Council calls on local people to seek improvements to BAA’s proposed Noise Insulation Scheme
Responding to this week'slaunch by BAA of its consultation on Heathrow Airport’s noise mitigation schemes, Hounslow Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Ruth Cadbury, called on the whole community to mobilise to seek major improvements to the company’s proposals.
She said: “Heathrow is the world’s busiest international airport1, making a big contribution to the UK economy and to BAA’s profits, but local people are still being short-changed when it comes to insulation against aircraft noise for homes, schools and community buildings.
“Our initial thoughts on BAA’s proposals leave not just Hounslow’s residents but everyone living around the airport with a noise mitigation scheme that is seriously inferior to those which apply around many comparable airports in the UK and the rest of the world.
“This is just not acceptable, given the proximity of the airport to such a densely populated borough, and we will be asking BAA to reconsider the geographical coverage of the whole scheme with a view to ensuring a greater proportion of the affected community will qualify.
“We want everyone who lives, works and learns in the borough to study BAA’s proposals, think very carefully about what these mean for their own circumstances, and respond to the consultation. This is particularly relevant for the people of Cranford, where the abolition of the Cranford Agreement2 will significantly increase the levels and frequency of disturbance caused to this community. I also hope that as many people as possible will be able to attend the drop-in sessions and exhibitions being held by BAA so that their views are heard.
“While the airport does bring local, as well as regional and national benefits, we want Heathrow to be a better and more considerate neighbour, and that means putting in a noise mitigation scheme that will make a tangible difference to the quality of life of the communities living around the airport.”
BAA’s consultation on noise mitigation is meant to form part of a Noise Action Plan for the airport – being produced by the company on behalf of the UK Government under the requirements of the European Noise Directive3. The council made representations to BAA and to the Government following the publication of the company’s Draft Noise Action Plan last year, but the final version of the Plan is now seriously overdue.
Councillor Cadbury added: “We are continuing to press BAA and the Government for early publication of the Heathrow Noise Action Plan so that we can see the full set of proposals for dealing with the disturbance suffered by local people.”
The BAA consultation can be found at www.heathrow.com/consultations. The council will be also providing links to BAA’s consultation on its own website, www.hounslow.gov.uk. Special attention is being given to noise mitigation for the people of Cranford, where the abolition of the Cranford Agreement will significantly increase the levels and frequency of disturbance caused to this community.
May 11, 2011