City Airport expansion
City Airport expansion

Newham Council, the planning authority for London City airport are consulting on its expansion proposals. The proposals would see Saturday operating hours extended from 12:30 to 6:30pm and passenger numbers rise from six and a half million to nine million. Bexley Labour Group submission to the expansion is provided below and

Bexley’s Labour group is made up of 11 of the 45 councillors in the London Borough of Bexley representing Belvedere, Erith, Northumberland Heath, Slade Green & Northend and Thamesmead East wards. However, as elected members we have a corporate role for the whole borough and our residents. The proposals will affect residents, particularly in Thamesmead East and Belvedere but not exclusively, as other parts of the borough will be affected by increasing flight paths.


Bexley Labour group is disappointed that City Airport held no consultation events in Bexley, even though this will affect many residents. We were also disappointed that as councillors, we were not contacted directly about the proposed expansion or the consultation as a whole. The group, therefore, question the validity of this consultation undertaken as we are aware many members of the public, who may hold strong opinions regarding the proposals, would be unaware it took place. We also hold issue with the questions included in the consultation as they do not directly ask whether an individual is supportive or objects to the proposed extended times and the suggestion that sustainability efforts can only be achieved through the expansion and under the present schedule.


The Group is cognisant of Parliament’s declaration of an environment and climate change emergency; targets to become net zero 2050 and City Airport, itself, plans to become net zero by 2030. These proposals do not sit well with the need to reduce emissions and that in the future there may be a drop in demand for more flights, as more travellers may choose to travel by rail for short-haul destinations.


The Group is opposed to the principle of more passengers and increased flight hours and the detrimental effect it will have on residents under the flight paths into London City airport. We appreciate that alternative planes will be used that are somewhat quieter, however, from our engagement with residents these planes are already in operation and still cause great levels of noise pollution and disturbance for residents. The Group is concerned that the proposals do not factor in the fact that many more areas along the Thames corridor as part of Bexley’s growth strategy and the GLA housing zones, will be developed into more housing, and will mean a greater number of residents will be affected by air and noise pollution.


The Group supports increased employment opportunities for residents in Bexley, but these benefits are outweighed by the detrimental effect to air quality, already a major issue and concern in London and increased noise pollution.


The Group does support improved public transport connections to the airport and to increase the use of electric vehicles, however, believe this is still possible without the proposed passenger and flight changes.


In summary, the Group, in summary, is opposed to the impact on residents in Bexley with the increased cumulative impact of noise with increased flights. London is in an air quality crisis, and we cannot support plans that will increase emissions. The Group is opposed an annual increase in passengers from 6.5million to 9million and extended operating hours on Saturday. The Group remains extremely disappointed by the lack of consultation directly with local residents on these matters.

The submitted application and location to submit comments can be found here.

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