Wandsworth Council say any plan to add a third runway south-west of Heathrow Airport would cause “irreparable environmental damage”.
Councillor Ravi Govindia said that any building work would need to be carried out on Stanwell Moor – land protected by EU wildlife and environment directives – and that he believes the eventual outcome of any such move would eventually mean altering their plan and building a third runway directly south of the airport.
He also said that he believed a third runway at Heathrow would inevitably lead to demands for further additional capacity including the possibility of a fourth runway.
There is general consensus that more runways are needed in the South East to enable London to stay competitive with other European cities like Frankfurt, which already has a four runway hub airport.
Heathrow argues that either it must be the UK’s hub (and by implication expand) or be closed to allow a new hub built elsewhere to take over. The closure of Heathrow would likely produce an economic disaster for West London, as the airport is responsible, directly or indirectly, for over a quarter of the sub-region’s jobs, most of which would probably disappear to relocate near a new airport. The consequential effect on the domestic property market, high streets, and general prosperity of the area would be cataclysmic.
The Davies Review will report in the autumn on which options for aviation capacity expansion, if any, should be ruled out of consideration for its main report, which will not be produced until 2015.