Government departments give London City airport expansion the green light

1st September 2016


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A £344m expansion of London City Airport has been given the go-ahead.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling and communities secretary Sajid Javid have approved plans for an extended terminal, new aircraft taxiway and parking spaces for planes at the airport in the London Borough of Newham. The decision came after a public inquiry, which ended on 5 April, and an appeal against the council’s refusal to grant planning permission. DfT and Dclg had recovered the appeal in December 2015 and have now agreed with the inspector’s recommendation to approve the plans.

The council had said the demolition of buildings and structures, and the additional infrastructure and passenger facilities at the airport, which opened in October 1987, would increase noise pollution. However, Grayling and Javid concluded that the inspector was correct in his observation that construction noise would be adequately controlled by suitable planning conditions and the forecast levels would be significantly below 1dB LAeq 16hr in 2025.

‘The proposed measures to mitigate and manage any adverse impacts of the proposed development would ensure that any adverse noise impacts would be appropriately managed to ensure that the proposal would not result in any significant unacceptable effect on the living conditions of local residents,’ they wrote in a letter to planning consultancy Quod, which is acting for the consortium of pension funds that owns the airport.

Although Grayling and Javid conceded that there would be more noise, they said this would be outweighed by the ‘significant’ socio-economic and employment benefits that would result from the expansion, when taking account of the controls and mitigation provided under planning conditions and the s106 agreement.

Some 500 jobs will be created during construction phase and a further 1,600 once the project is completed. Under the plans, there will 32,000 additional flights each year from 2025.

The secretaries of state said the expansion would not result in any significant harmful effect on air quality in the area and that the recommended planning conditions would address most of the residual impacts of the proposed development, including those related to flooding, ecology, climate change and contamination.

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