Saturday, 21 July 2018

Protest against Heathrow expansion on doorstep

CAMPAIGNERS against the expansion of Heathrow airport staged a protest at the Henley home of one of its executives

CAMPAIGNERS against the expansion of Heathrow airport staged a protest at the Henley home of one of its executives.

About 20 members of the Residents Against Expansion were involved in the demonstration on the driveway outside Matt Gorman?s house.

They unfurled a huge plastic ?runway? with the slogan ?No Ifs, No Buts? in response to Heathrow?s plans for a third runway. They also chanted the words.

Many of the protestors were carrying suitcases to highlight that thousands of people will be forced to move house if the runway is built.

Mr Gorman, who is the airport?s director of sustainability, is believed to have called the police.

The group organised the ?Heathrow Homeless Coach Tour? from Harmondsworth village, next to the airport, on August bank holiday Monday.

Mr Gorman?s home was the final stop on the tour that also saw the campaigners visit Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye?s home in Oxford and David Cameron?s constituency office in Witney.

One protestor was Harmondsworth resident Armelle Thomas, 69, whose husband Tommy died last month, aged 93.

Mrs Thomas said her husband?s last months had been made a misery by the announcement in July that Sir Howard Davies had recommended the expansion of Heathrow.

The 3,500m runway would be built about two miles north of the existing two runways at an estimated cost of £18.6 billion.

Campaigners says the extra noise pollution would affect 760,000 people living under the flight path.

The Stop Heathrow Expansion website claimed that the protestors saw a large ?Proud to back Heathrow? poster in the window of Mr Gorman?s house and a sticker in the back window of the car on the drive. It said: ?On reading these public declarations of support for the third runway proposals, the residents decided to deliver Mr Gorman something he might like ? a runway outside his front door.

?No plans are being made to create new housing for displaced people. No schemes have been put into legal documents. No support is planned for tenants made homeless.

?These are issues that need to be addressed before a decision is made on Heathrow expansion.

?At the Henley house, a calm and confident young woman came to the front door and talked to two villagers. They reassured her that this was a short, peaceful protest and they?d soon be on their way.

?It was a good-natured conversation, as was the protest until half a dozen neighbours decided to come out of their houses to vent their anger about having protesters in their street.

?Soon afterwards, as protesters were preparing to leave, Mr Gorman arrived followed by a police officer. Mr Gorman asked the officer various questions to ascertain if there were laws to use against the people from the Heathrow communities who had visited him, who he had been told were taking photographs of the house and had walked on his driveway.

?Mr Gorman has claimed to be interested in feedback from communities but on his day off from work he made it clear he had no interest in their views.?

A Heathrow spokesman said: ?We can confirm that a group of people staged a protest at the homes of two Heathrow colleagues over the bank holiday weekend.

?The police were called in line with normal procedures and when they arrived the protesters dispersed.

?Heathrow has a new plan, one that has local residents? views and the environment at its core.

?It will create up to 180,000 jobs and £211billion of economic growth across the country. That?s why it has so much support from businesses, business groups, politicians, airports, airlines and a majority of local residents.?

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