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Monday, 23 July, 2001, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Flooding fears over air terminal
Planes at Heathrow
Expansion plans for Heathrow have been recommended
New roads needed to serve a fifth terminal at the UK's biggest airport will lead to flooding, environmentalists have warned.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) has written to Transport Secretary Stephen Byers urging him to cancel the proposed road building for the Heathrow Airport terminal.

The organisation says the flooding risk was not considered at the four-year public inquiry in to the terminal proposals.

"If Terminal Five (T5) and its roads go ahead, the amount of green belt left to soak up excess rainfall will be further reduced," said West London FoE spokeswoman Rose McManus.

Mr Byers is currently considering a huge report from the inspector who presided over the record-breaking inquiry.

The project is supported by airlines and big business but bitterly opposed by green groups and local councils.

In his report, project inspector Roy Vandermeer QC recommended approval, but the final decision on whether the new terminal gets the green light rests with Mr Byers.

However, FoE says the proposed M25 spur road would not only interfere with the natural flood plain of the River Colne, but would also destroy the site of the rare Water Avens plant.

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