SLEEPERS are having their rest "blighted" by the roar of early morning planes trialling new flight paths to Heathrow.

The pilot scheme took off in November with some of the airport's 17 early arrivals flying over Lewisham and Greenwich boroughs from 4.30am to 6am.

Sleep-deprived residents have started a campaign against the overhead menace which they say was sprung on them without warning and fear could become permanent.

Elise Parkin, of Manor Avenue, Brockley, who is spearheading the campaign, says she sometimes stays with family to avoid the noise.

The 41-year-old solicitor said: "A lot of people have said they wake up groggy because of interrupted sleep, with difficulty concentrating and feeling lethargic.

"I have personally been woken up from 4.20am onwards.

"Because it is constant for the next hour and a half it is very difficult to get back to sleep, with one plane after another."

Nathan Brenville, 29, of nearby St Norbert's Road, said: "I'm not anti-planes, this is London after all, but there has to be a better way of co-ordinating flights other than by interrupting residents' beauty sleep."

Airports operator Heathrow claimed the trial, launched to offer noise-free nights in other areas, aimed to only affect people on a week on, week off basis. However, Brockley is on the border of two trial areas.

Every other week, planes also fly over areas such as Woolwich, Charlton, Eltham, Blackheath, Deptford, Hither Green and Lewisham.

This Is Local London: The trial route has aircrafts flying in over the red boxes one week and the blue boxes the next

The trial will run until March 31 and Brockley ward's councillor Councillor Darren Johnson is urging residents to make their views known so the route does not become permanent.


Cllr Johnson told News Shopper: “I have had a huge number of complaints about it in the last couple of months, particularly from Brockley residents who really noticed the extra noise in the early morning but who are complaining about aircraft numbers throughout the day.
 

“I think there is a lot of concern and anger that this has been sprung upon residents.
 

"I think people need to be vocal about it - obviously make the formal complaint to Heathrow and the government but also alert local politicians as well because I think there needs to be a concerted effort to ensure it is not blighting people’s lives."

Heathrow’s sustainability director Matt Gorman said: "This trial was developed in response to feedback from communities about the lack of predictability over noise from early morning flights."

He added: "Once the trial ends on March 31 we will carry out a full analysis of the trial impacts and feedback we have received to help inform next steps."

Heathrow attended a public meeting on the issue held at Greenwich and Southwark Samaritans on Friday where residents were told noise levels would return to pre-trial levels after March 31 and any future trials would be consulted on beforehand.

 How to make a complaint

To have your say email Heathrow with your name and address at noise_complaints@baa.com or call 0800 344844.

Tell campaign group HACAN on info@hacan.org.uk and johnstewart2@btconnect.com

Residents are asked to copy in Ms Parkin at brockleynoise@hotmail.co.uk and Councillor Darren Johnson at Darren.Johnson@london.gov.uk

The government are also consulting on the issue of night flights in general at night.noise@dft.gsi.gov.uk