Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

HEATHROW NOISE 'TO HIT MILLIONS'; SHOCK WARNING OVER PLAN TO EXPAND AIRPORT TO FOUR RUNWAYS; 'COUNCILS SAY ROAR OF JETS WILL BLIGHT SWATHES OF LONDON; Heathrow Expansion 'Would Shatter the Peace for Huge Parts of London'; EXCLUSIVE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

HEATHROW NOISE 'TO HIT MILLIONS'; SHOCK WARNING OVER PLAN TO EXPAND AIRPORT TO FOUR RUNWAYS; 'COUNCILS SAY ROAR OF JETS WILL BLIGHT SWATHES OF LONDON; Heathrow Expansion 'Would Shatter the Peace for Huge Parts of London'; EXCLUSIVE

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil Deputy Political Editor

TWO MILLION more people will have their lives blighted by aircraft noise if Heathrow is allowed to expand to a fourrunway airport, it was claimed today.

Huge swathes of west, central and south London risk being affected by a bigger Heathrow as well as north Surrey, east Berkshire and south Buckinghamshire, said a group representing 24 councils.

It says that the "quiet enjoyment" of some of the most treasured green spaces in London, including royal parks, would be spoiled by the noise.

Mayor Boris Johnson said: "These figures reveal the true horror of Heathrow expansion. We should be looking to cut these numbers, not increase them, which is why we need a new airport to support the country's growth without making life miserable for millions."

The alarming forecast was issued by the 2M Group, which includes 24 local councils including 19 in London. It comes days after it emerged that Heathrow chiefs are examining options for four runways and marks a dramatic escalation in the battle over Heathrow's future.

Hitting back, Heathrow accused the 2M Group of "scaremongering" and denied that a bigger airport would create noise disturbance on the scale claimed.

But the row is set to become a general election issue for London despite David Cameron delaying a final decision on airport expansion until after May 2015. The 2M Group today published a series of noise contour maps of how airport expansion could affect the capital and surrounding counties.

The campaign alliance claimed the homes of three million people -- rather than one million now -- face being threatened by aircraft noise if Heathrow gets two more runways. Its prediction of a four-runway Heathrow shows:

The arrival flightpath for a third runway, north of the existing landing strips, is expected to create significant noise in parts of Mayfair, Belgravia, Sloane Square, South Kensington, Earl's Court, West Kensington, Hammersmith, Chiswick and Brent.

Hyde Park, Regent's Park, St James's Park and Kensington Gardens are set to be directly affected by planes coming in to land.

The arrival flightpath for a fourth runway, to the south at the airport, is predicted to have an impact on parts of Streatham, Balham, Tooting, Wandsworth Common, Earlsfield, Southfields, Putney Heath, Roehampton, Richmond Park, Richmond town centre, Isleworth, Hounslow Heath and Bedfont. …

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