Page last updated at 13:55 GMT, Sunday, 7 February 2010

Manchester Airport protesters join forces

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson has lived in Breeze Cottage for the past 18 years

Campaigners against the expansion of Manchester Airport have joined forces with a village set for destruction if Heathrow gets a third runway.

A number of 200-year-old cottages on Hasty Lane in Altrincham stand to be demolished if Manchester Airport expands to add a new cargo unit.

Peter Johnson, who could lose his home, held a tea party with Heathrow's Sipson village via video link on Sunday.

Manchester Airport said it needed "modern facilities for the future".

The dispute between the families living on Hasty Lane and the airport has been simmering for the past two years.

Airport officials did have to alter their plans after planning experts ruled they should leave one cottage standing.

However, the revised proposals, which means the destruction of four homes, were passed by Manchester City Council in December.

'Under threat'

Mr Johnson, who has lived in Breeze Hill cottage for the past 18 years, is hoping to take the airport's proposals to a judicial review in a bid to stop the expansion.

Backed by Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport (SEMA), he set up the tea party and said he was "twinning" the street with Sipson village to create publicity.

Why replace some beautiful old cottages and an area of natural beauty with a giant freight shed?
Peter Johnson

He said: "The expansion of the airport flies in the face of real reasoning.

"Why replace some beautiful old cottages and an area of natural beauty with a giant freight shed?

"As it stands, we do not know the future of the aviation industry, it seems to be diminishing in size rather than getting bigger.

"My home, my family's home is under threat over something that might not even be needed."

Residents of Sipson village have been campaigning for the past three years against plans for a third runway at Heathrow. If it gets the go ahead, up to 700 homes could be demolished.

A Manchester Airport spokesman added: "The long-term forecasts for air cargo demand remain robust and our existing transit units are all occupied.

"While we are aware of the sensitivities we are committed to developing in a sustainable manner and want to continue to fulfil our role as a major job creator for the city and the region."

A Heathrow Airport spokesman said they would not comment.

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