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Inquiry Urged to Turn Down Plans for Airport Expansion

An inquiry has been strongly urged to reject the Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) that would allow the expansion of London City Airport, due to the negative impact that more aircraft noise would have on residents of Waltham Forest.

Waltham Forest Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Clyde Loakes, who has spearheaded the campaign against the expansion, gave evidence to the inquiry yesterday (17 May) on behalf of the borough’s residents.

Our residents’ quality of life is already under huge pressure from the impact of aircraft noise,” said Cllr Loakes. “Our location in north east London means that we are buffered by Heathrow Gatwick, Stansted and London City Airports and the borough has now become the third most overflown borough in London after Hounslow and Richmond, by stealth with little consultation and engagement with its residents.

“The Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) which are the subject of this inquiry will result in the acquisition of nearly 12,000m2 of public land and dock water by London City Airport and allow the airport to build new airport facilities to increase the number of flights using the airport by 50 per cent to 111,000 per year, bringing yet more daily misery to residents in Waltham Forest.”

The previous Mayor of London threw out the plans for expansion back in March 2015, however City Airport appealed to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, in an effort to preserve their business plan for increasing the number of take-offs and landings from the aiport.

Last autumn the Council conducted a survey of residents on the impact that aircraft noise had on their daily lives. 81 per cent of responders were already disturbed by current levels of aircraft noise, 78 per cent said that their hearing or listening was disturbed, and 73 per cent said their sleep was disturbed.

The Council has also been critical of the lack of engagement from London City Airport with residents around the CPO process.

Cllr Loakes added: “We do not believe that London City Airport have been good neighbours to the residents of Waltham Forest, and we were extremely disappointed that they chose to appeal the decision on airport expansion. They have also not kept local communities properly informed about the CPO process, having not included the need for CPOs in their original planning application.

“I urged the Inquiry to reject the CPOs requested by the airport because if the development itself is unacceptable the transfer of land and water belonging to all Londoners needed for the development should also be refused.

“Our Residents have made it clear that they do not want the airport to be expanded and I hope the inquiry will listen and refuse this CPO land grab, which will lead to a further avalanche of disastrous implications on the quality of life of residents of Waltham Forest.”

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