It was good to meet some of you at the eight supporters’ meetings we held across East and SE London over the last two weeks or so. There was a widespread feeling that you are willing to do things to help in the campaign against the expansion of London City Airport and you came up with useful ideas on how HACAN East can best help you to get involved. I have listed a number of the suggestions towards the end of this email. I have also listed the key messages which came out of the meetings.
As we all know, a general election has been called. This is an opportunity for us to lobby the candidates standing in our constituencies. I am in the process of compiling a list of the candidates standing in the constituencies impacted by London City Airport and, where I can get them, their contact details. I will email it round when all the candidates are known (in about two weeks time), together with key messages. If you are contacted by a candidate in the meantime, the key question for them is ‘Do you oppose the expansion of London City Airport?’
London City is under huge pressure. Never before have so many councils and official bodies come out against the airport’s expansion proposals. As far as we know, only one local authority – Barking & Dagenham – appears to support the proposals. You can find details of who is opposed on our website: www.hacaneast.org.uk
London City’s current timetable is this:
- It expects to publish its final Master Plan late 2019/early 2020. This will contain any proposals it wants to take forward. It would be a surprise, given the level of opposition, if it did not drop some of them.
- It is aiming to put in a planning application to the planning authority, Newham Council, in spring 2020. It needs a short consultation on that application.
- Newham’s Planning Committee will consider the application in summer/autumn 2020. If it refuses the application, the airport can appeal. That appeal will lead to a Public Inquiry (almost certainly 2021). The final decision will rest with the Secretary of State for Transport.
The consideration of the unpopular concentrated flight paths follows a separate process. There will be consultation on options for revised flight paths – almost certainly including an option for rotating multiple flight paths to provide most communities with a break from the noise – in 2021.
Suggestions of what people can do locally
- Put information in local newsletters and on local online forums. A number of you heard about our campaign through these forums and online apps.
Here are four apps which you have recommended to us:
Next Door – https://nextdoor.co.uk/
In Your Area – https://www.inyourarea.co.uk
Neighbourly – https://neighbourly.google.com
Local Halo – https://www.localhalo.com/
If there are others you think might be useful to people, drop me an email and I can put details of them in a future Update
Here is a short paragraph you can use or adapt when putting things in newsletters or online locally.
There could be significant expansion at London City Airport. In its draft Master Plan, which it consulted on earlier this year, it proposed an almost doubling of flights, an end to the 24 hour weekend break from the planes, and more early morning and late evening flights. This would mean all-day flying for people under or close to the airport’s flight paths. But it is not a done deal. There has been a lot of opposition to the proposals. London City is expected to publish revised plans over the next few months. If you are concerned about the impact of expansion on you, get in touch or contact the campaign group HACAN East – www.hacaneast.org.uk
- Produce local videos. A number of you suggested producing very short videos – max 1 minute long – about the impact on you/your area of London City. If you do that, drop me an email and we can put them up on You Tube.
- Organise a local Public Meeting. This was also suggested. If you would like to do this, get in touch. We can help you with the logistics, costs and publicity.
- Circulate bullet point information. A number of you asked us to circulate information in this form which you can use locally. We will do this.
- Email candidates in the General Election. As I said above, I will get candidates’ details to you when they become available.
7 Key things for HACAN East to do
Here are key big ideas which came out of the meetings:
- Maintain and enhance our social media presence
- Produce a detailed map of the streets most affected by the current flight paths
- Produce detailed information on how individual constituencies are/will be affected to give to the MPs elected at the forthcoming General Election
- Continue to question London City’s credibility, given how many promises it has broken the past
- Raise the issue of deliverability – i.e. can London City actual deliver any final expansion plans it comes up with?
- Link the issues of the revised flight paths and the expansion plans.
- Link the local impacts of City Airport expansion with it climate impacts.
We’ll get to work!
John Stewart – Chair HACAN East