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SUTTON: Plans put Carshalton in new Heathrow flight path
10:01am Thursday 8th January 2009 in Latest News
New Heathrow plans will put Carshalton directly in the flight path of tens of thousands of jet aeroplanes for the first time.
Carshalton residents will be blighted by aircraft noise if ministers go ahead with plans to increase the use of existing runways at the London airport.
The reorganisation proposals, designed to support the simultaneous use of runways for take-off and landings, require jets to pass directly over the town.
The Government is expected to approve the new flight paths that will allow 60,000 more planes to operate at the airport from next year.
Carshalton would be one of the main losers as aircraft are redirected eight miles farther into suburban areas to ease crowded skies.
Residents are furious that ministers failed to highlight their exposure to noise pollution in a consultation document, published in November 2007.
Councillor Paul Scully, who represents central Carshalton, accused the Department for Transport (DfT) of a lack of transparency.
He added: “I am very concerned at the prospect of new flight paths increasing noise for Carshalton residents. An Englishman’s home is his castle, and the last thing he wants are more jumbo jets shaking his battlements.”
Dr Ken Andrew, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Carshalton and Wallington, said: “This news is an outrage. I campaigned against the present low-flying aircraft and high noise levels, which affect Wallington, and now I have been told there will be a new Carshalton flight path for aircraft using Heathrow.
“At a time when the Government has blighted the value of our homes, the last thing we need is a Labour minister planning the addition of deafening noise.
“I will be seeking urgent reassurances. This could be very bad news indeed for Carshalton and it is a very serious development.”
At present, one runway at Heathrow is used for take-offs and the other for landings, with the roles alternating at 3pm to protect neighbours from excessive noise.
John Stewart, chairman of the ClearSkies campaign group, said: “This would be the biggest change to flight paths since Heathrow opened more than 60 years ago but it is being done by stealth.
“Most people who will be affected have no idea what is in store for them. The DfT continues to sell the introduction of mixed mode as little more than a technical change.”
MP Tom Brake said: “Aircraft and helicopter noise already make people’s lives a misery in many parts of south-west London.
“Now Carshalton residents are to share the pain. The Government must rule out a third runway at Heathrow which could inflict even more suffering on Londoners, a point I have been making for at least 10 years.”
Mayor Boris Johnson has invited Sutton residents to join a Heathrow expansion debate in Hayes, west London, on Wednesday, January 21. Request free tickets on 020 8561 8371.