Open letter to Ealing Council
Wakeup Ealing is disappointed with Ealing Council’s ambivalent position on Heathrow Expansion, and felt that the Council’s consultation response was insufficiently robust – so in September 2019 we wrote the following open letter to the Council Leader Cllr Julian Bell.
The text of the letter is as follows:
Dear Julian Bell
We are writing this open letter to you from Wakeup Ealing to express our great disappointment at the recent response by the Council to Heathrow’s Expansion Consultation, and to ask that you be much less ambivalent in your response to future consultations.
Wakeup Ealing was established during Heathrow’s Airspace and Future Operations Consultation in January this year, when we realised that even without a third runway a huge number of Ealing residents were threatened with the effects of flight path change. Many local residents are still unaware of the impact these changes will have on their health, well-being, safety and quality of life.
The flight path changes proposed by Heathrow will route up to 25 low-flying arrival aircraft from north to south over parts of Ealing and Acton between 6 and 7 am, with a further possible 40 flights a day after this, even without a third runway. All this will be imposed on us from 2022 onwards.
The impact on local residents will be huge, significantly reducing the time available for sleep, especially for children and other vulnerable members of our community. These flights will increase particulate pollution for those overflown, and worsen the sense of urban stress caused by levels of noise well above World Health Organisation recommended levels.
Your own Ealing Residents Survey of 2018 highlighted that nearly half of those asked said that they were very or fairly satisfied with Ealing life because they lived in a quiet area or neighbourhood. We value these things most when we fear we may lose them – and believe that the Council has a duty to protect its residents against such loss.
With a third runway, all that we have outlined above becomes exponentially worse. We anticipate illegal levels of pollution from passenger and freight traffic; particulate pollution from over-flying planes; unacceptable noise well above World Health Organisation levels; a 5 ½ hour sleep window; yet more congestion on public transport; and ever-increasing carbon emissions.
Heathrow’s own modelling shows that between 120,800 and 168,100 Ealing residents will be newly adversely affected by noise if the third runway is built. A third runway will blight West London, and is indefensible by the Council. Your proposed new cycle path cannot compensate us for this blight.
We understand that there will be further consultations on these flight path changes. We ask that the Council do all it can to object to these, and make its objections strongly, widely and publicly. We believe that to do otherwise is to fail in its duty to its residents. We look forward to receiving your response.
With very best wishes,