Yesterday, Michael Gove, MP for Surrey Heath, wrote to the Rt. Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, regarding the expansion of Heathrow to urge him to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to address any risk of additional noise and pollution.
Michael Gove said:
‘I am determined to secure measures that will protect my constituents from any possible additional noise and pollution from a third runway at Heathrow, and I urge my constituents to join me in contributing to the Draft Airports National Policy Statement Consultation before it closes on 25 May.’
Text of Michael Gove’s letter to the Secretary of State for Transport:
I write further to our recent correspondence regarding the Draft Airports National Policy Statement: new runway capacity and infrastructure at airports in the South East of England (February 2017), and my request for a Consultation Information Event in my constituency of Surrey Heath.
I am most grateful that you agreed to support this request, but sadly it is now impossible to organise such an Event before the end of the Consultation period on 25 May, due to the forthcoming General Election. This is very disappointing.
As you are aware from my previous letters, I have repeatedly raised the concerns of my constituents who complain about existing aircraft noise arising from Heathrow.
It is quite understandable that there are fears that once an additional runway at Heathrow is constructed, noise and pollution will inevitably increase. It was precisely for this reason that I was anxious for a Consultation Information Event to be held in my constituency.
As there can now be no Event in my constituency, I am writing to seek your assurance that you will bear in mind the considerable concerns expressed by my constituents when you examine all the contributions to the Consultation.
Importantly, I note that the Draft Airports National Policy Statement states that the Secretary of State for Transport, “will consider air quality impacts over the wider area likely to be affected…” (para 6.27), and that “Heathrow Airport has committed to mitigate the noise impacts which could result from a new runway. Measures will include new binding noise performance targets…” (para 6.29).
Following the conclusion of the Consultation, I urge you to ensure that appropriate measures are indeed taken to address any additional noise and pollution from an expanded airport, including necessary restrictions on night flights, and I trust that Heathrow’s promised commitments will be closely monitored and enforced.
I shall look forward to hearing from you.
With every good wish
The Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP
Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath