Heathrow warning for Suffolk residents

PEOPLE in Suffolk worried at the growth in jets over-flying the county were today urged to sign a petition protesting at moves to expand Heathrow.Campaigners say the building of a third runway at the London airport will have a huge impact on Suffolk skies - sending tens of thousands more planes over the county every year.

PEOPLE in Suffolk worried at the growth in jets over-flying the county were today urged to sign a petition protesting at moves to expand Heathrow.

Campaigners say the building of a third runway at the London airport will have a huge impact on Suffolk skies - sending tens of thousands more planes over the county every year.

The county's rural tranquillity is already being destroyed by constant planes with an estimated 1,200 a day flying over - 600 of those across the Felixstowe area - and air traffic is set to double in the next 20 years.

Constable Country is already blighted, coastal areas see enormous numbers of planes, and changes to airspace in 2009 are likely to mean more planes crossing currently quieter areas.


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John Stewart, chairman of Heathrow protest group HACAN ClearSkies, said it was important people in Suffolk realised the effect a third runway at Heathrow would have and should sign the protest petition to register their opposition and concern.

“We have already had a large number of people from East Anglia sign the petition, which shows how widespread the concern is about Heathrow,” said Mr Stewart.

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“People are beginning to realise that while those who live very close to airports are greatly affected by planes, those living many miles away can also suffer from noise pollution.

“The extra planes from Heathrow will fly right across the south and east of England to travel to Europe and further afield and there will be a significant increase in noise.”

Mr Stewart has labelled parts of Suffolk as “the motorways of the skies” because of the huge amount of air traffic certain places are now taking to Scandinavia, eastern Europe and the Far East.

“We hope the petition will show the government there is huge concern over proposed increases in flying - air travel is getting out of control,” he said.

If a third runway is built, flights from Heathrow will grow from 473,000 a year to 700,000-plus.

Transport minister Ruth Kelly said unless the airport expands, Heathrow's status as a world-class airport will be gradually eroded - jobs will be lost and the economy will suffer.

Sign the petition at www.stopheathrowexpansion.com

What do you think of the prospect of more flights over Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: Heathrow expansion

Among options for expansion are a 2,200m third runway built north of Heathrow by 2020, and a sixth terminal, which will require the destruction of an entire village.

Critics say more than 50 communities and towns will suffer increased noise.

Government says take-offs and landings should be limited to 605,000 a year initially, to meet noise restrictions.

As older, noisier planes are phased out, this could rise to 702,000 by 2030.

If the sixth terminal is built to serve the new runway, it would mean 700 properties being demolished, including the village of Sipson.

Before that the two existing runways could be used for both take-offs and landings - currently arrivals switched from one to the other after 3pm to give residents a break from the noise.

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