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Saturday, 24 November, 2001, 15:36 GMT
Protest march over new terminal
protest
Protesters delivered a petition to 10 Downing Street
Anti-noise protesters opposed to a fifth terminal at Heathrow Airport have marched on Downing Street.

The group, led by residents living under the airport's flight path, have pledged to seek a judicial review of the decision.

The 2.5bn T5 project is likely to be operational in 2007 with British Airways predicting that more than 16,000 jobs will be created or safeguarded.

Company bosses also maintain that flight numbers will only increase by 8% when T5 is operational.


We are constantly woken by flights landing at around 0530 GMT and in the summer we have to keep the windows shut to stop the noise

Protester Alison Wilson

But Hacan ClearSkies, the group representing many residents, recently won a case at the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that night flying at Heathrow violated their human rights.

On the march was Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park, Jenny Tonge, whose campaigning began in the days before terminal four.

She said: "We were betrayed then and I suspect that we are going to be betrayed now.

"As long as I live I will keep campaigning against this monstrous development called Heathrow."

protests
Protesters also want an end to night flights
Hacan chairman John Stewart said the march, which ended with a petition being handed in at Downing Street, was also aimed at pressurising Transport Secretary Stephen Byers into banning night flights.

He said: "Stephen Byers did say he was going to look at the night-flight situation and there is real hope that we will see a ban in 2003."

He said T5 would mean increased noise, pollution and danger.

Mr Stewart added: "This march could not have come at a better time for us because it shows the extent of feeling of anger from people living under the Heathrow flight path."

Public inquiry

Protester Alison Wilson from East Sheen, south west London, said: "I am absolutely appalled at the Terminal 5 decision.

"There are already plenty of planes coming into Heathrow.

"The main problem is that the new terminal will change the fact that there is runway alternation at the moment which means we do not have to put up with flights for half the time.

"We are constantly woken up by flights landing at around 0530 GMT and in the summer we have to keep the windows shut to stop the noise."

The decision to go ahead with T5 followed a four year public inquiry.

BAA chief executive Mike Hodgkinson welcomed the government's decision as "good news for the economy, the aviation industry, the travelling public and for the local community which has won sensible safeguards.

"Our responsibility now is to work constructively with our neighbours and to honour our promise to develop the terminal in an environmentally responsible way," he said.

See also:

24 Nov 01 | England
Planning review set for rough ride
20 Nov 01 | UK Politics
Aid urged for Heathrow residents
20 Nov 01 | UK Politics
Death knell for planning law 'banquet'
20 Nov 01 | England
Protesters warn of future battles
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