Friday, January 09, 2009

LCA Throws A Tantrum Over Crossrail, and MONEY

Christmas is over .The new year hangover has come and gone and you patiently wait to see how much this months credit card bill will be. The January Blues have well and truly arrived.

Well fear not Fight the Flights fans, we decided to cheer you up with some fun non fiction that will have you laughing till tears run down your face.

Yes it's the "Humble" petition from London City Airport against Crossrail.

3 Petitions have been put in against Crossrail to the House Of Lords by London City Airport and 'related' Businesses.

(1) City Aviation Properties Limited have put in the first. They are the freeholders of City Airport. While they have an office here in London, their accounts are registered in Jersey. Yes Jersey, that little Tax Haven. Why would City Aviation want to register their accounts in Jersey we wonder??!

(2) Marketspur Limited have put in the next. They own the head leasehold on LCA.

(3) London City Airport Limited. The airport operators.

London City Airport really don't want Crossrail on their patch. And if it's going to happen they want it on their terms. Or be heavily compensated.

So lets delve into this little masterpiece shall we, and point out some of the hypocrisy.... Perhaps make yourself a cup of tea first, its a long one! This is what the cry babies and R.Go at LCA are asking for:

(c) where a local planning authority proposes to grant permission for the development or to grant permission subject to conditions , in a manner contrary to the advice of the consultee , they must notify both the CAA and the consultee.

(d) following this notice the local planning authority may not grant planning permission before the expiry of a period of a 28 days from the date advised in writing by the consultee as the date of the relevant information.This provides the CAA and the consultee with an opportunity to ask the Secretary of State to cal in proposals for his own determination.

LB Newham (LBN) and London City Airport (LCA) DID NOT consult with the CAA on the increase of additional flights over East London. They failed to mention this and it took a member of the public to uncover this information and another to read this out in the Newham Planning Meeting on the night of the 'decision' in October 08. This is in our opinion a complete failure of duty of care to the public and a disregard for the mechanisms set up to control and promote safety. In one of the most densely populated areas with thousands of people working and living in a Public Safety Zone (PZN) , LBN and LCA have not taken advice from the most important authority and regulator. Why? And looking at point (c) while the extra flights were granted , some of the extra flights , for example early morning , were contrary to the advice from LCA so they were obliged to notify the CAA , where they not?

The worksite proposed as part of the Crossrail proposals at the Connaught Bridge falls within the Public Safety Zone at the western end of the airport. This is contrary to the objective of the Public Safety Zone which is to minimise the number of people working or congregating within the Zone.Aircraft operations at London City Airport cannot be modified to accommodate the extent of activity in this area. Should such activity be deemed to be unsafe by the Civil Aviation Authority , restrictions may be imposed on the aerodrome licence , which would severely curtail or prevent commercial operations.......

So is this why the CAA have not been consulted on extra flights? LCA have refused to use the methodology used by DfT in the working out of their next PSZ because the size grows enormously as a result of expansion. We have highlighted the grave concerns over the PSZ and Connaught Bridge, all of which have been dismissed by LBN and LCA. And as LBN has decided to move 2000 staff into Building 1000 , which could be within the PSZ when remodeled due to expansion, is this not a violation of the objective of the PSZ. LBN have ignored all our concerns about the PSZ and now staff are being moved into a building that looks set to be in the 'crash zone'. There will be 2000 staff , plus visitors etc all now congregating within a growing potential PSZ, Excel, Ramada, Building 1000 and residential all look to be covered. But don't worry the airport are paying off some of the landowners and leaseholders for covering their land or property with a crash zone - yes unbeknown to you they are paying to put you in danger!

.....Your petitioner also requires the Promoter to be bound personally by the specific code of practice for the works in the vicinity of the Airport in order to migrate and regulate all construction and operational impacts of Crossrail.

A Binding code of practice. Say something like a Section 106 perhaps? LCA have broken the binding Section 106 many times. Out of Hours flights , failure to give complete noise data , to name but some. When we, the public, ask LBN to hold LCA to account over these breaches of planning law, it's dismissed out of hand.

Your Petitioner is also apprehensive about the noise , vibration , dust and other environmental effects of the construction works in the vicinity of the Jet Centre which may result in a decline in the usage of the Jet Centre. Your petitioner requires the Promoter to be bound personally by a specific code of practice to minimise or mitigate such effects and a full and sufficient indemnity in respect of any financial loss it may suffer.

Section 106! Section 106! Residents around the airport have been failed by LBN to uphold the S106 for LCA. The noise suffered is unbearable.While the average noise claimed is 57db over 16 hours, Newham themselves have taken readings of up to 90db and above.

The Health and Safety Law states that there is an exposure limit of 87db for workers. Protection and training of noise starts at 80bd. Workers should and are protected against noise exposure. This begs the question - are hundreds of companies in Newham breaking the law? If a jet takes off at 92db and a postman is delivering mail and exposed to this noise should he not be wearing protective gear? After all if he hears 92 db jets every 3 minutes over 2 hours while doing his job , his average is certainly not the 57db claimed by LCA. And we are sure that residents might actually welcome dust as opposed to the choking fuel burn they have to endure daily.

Your petitioner is also greatly concerned by the wider noise , dust , vibration effects of the construction works in the community and the resulting environment that the works will create. Your Petitioner requires the Promoter to be bound by a specific code of construction practice which is fully consulted upon with the local community in order to ensure the minimum impact on surrounding residents and businesses.

Yes I bet you read that twice! First off they want the local community to be consulted. They didn't extend this courtesy to us residents after the shambolic consultation about additional flights. They want minimum impact on residents but the impact on residents from the airport is far more invasive to our lives than anything that Crossrail can do. At least at some point Crossrail will finish. The daily blight from the airport will continue indefinitely.

(40) (41) (42)
Your Petitioner is also greatly concerned that the proposed station for the Royal Docks is located on the north side of Victoria Dock. it seems to your petitioner that this station has been designed to serve inappropriately to serve principally the Excel Exhibition Centre or the northwest quarter of the docks........

Your petitioner submits that a better location for the Royal Docks station would be underneath Connaught Bridge.This would have the potential to serve all four quarters of the Royal Docks....... Your Petitioner seeks an amendment to the Bill to remove authority for the works comprised in the current proposed station to include provision for a replacement station at Connaught Bridge........

There is little evidence to suggest that consideration has been given to integration with the majority of businesses and residents in the Royal Docks..... binding assurances from the Promoter which ensure integration of surface access with surrounding businesses and residents including London City Airport.

Have a quick nip back to point (19) "The worksite proposed as part of the Crossrail proposals at the Connaught Bridge falls within the Public Safety Zone at the western end of the airport. This is contrary to the objective of the Public Safety Zone which is to minimise the number of people working or congregating within the Zone".

So now they want to move the station to Connaught Bridge in the PSZ? Yes of course they do because now it suits and benefits them. Gone is the concern to minimise the number of people congregating within the Zone. It's all about money now.

Money, Money, Money!

They do not want Excel to have the station. They want it. While businesses across the capital have given financial help to Crossrail - how much have LCA given? To move the station would cost the taxpayer £millions. LCA gave little more that £1 million to have the DLR on their doorstep leading a member of the Lords to declare "they got a good deal... a very good deal"

(52) (53) (54) (55) (56) (57) (58)
Compensation Provision

All these sections deal with compensation. LCA want money. Lots and lots of money for any disruption or effects from Crossrail. Yet another bill for the taxpayer to fork out for. Unfortunately they are not very good at sorting out their own compensation. Sound proofing and double glazing to effected residents is still going on. Few residents get full double glazing, only some of their windows. While the airport looks after their own interests, yours have long been forgotten.

And Finally a Drum roll......

Your petitioner submits that in its current form and without further amendment or provision as sought by your petitioner , the Bill is incompatible with the right of your petitioner peacefully to enjoy its property and carry on trade or business.The Bill would unfairly interfere with such right contrary to Article 1 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human rights....

Read it again.
And again.

To peacefully enjoy it property.
Something that many of us cannot do because of the airport. We take it then perhaps our Human Rights contrary to Article 1 of Protocol 1 are being breached by noisy jets? Are you peacefully enjoying your property?

Funnily enough LCA want Crossrail to do what the residents want LCA to do. Protect our homes. Peacefully enjoy our properties.Follow strict guidelines.Proper compensation. Funny when the boot is on the other foot.

As observers, it looks like LCA have a problem. They do not want Crossrail. Former Mayor Livingston said if Crossrail went ahead LCA would no longer be needed. There are also compulsory order provisions in the bill that can take over areas at and around the airport.Hence putting pressure on LBN to administer the Section 106 properly.

They have got away with so much for so long with Newham. But Crossrail is not Newham Council. They can't cajole them into getting what they want. Maybe the hired help Hill & Knowlton are fighting their corner. But H&K have bigger and better paying clients in favour of Crossrail. In such a wide ranging cross London development LCA are small fry. They will try and get the community involved so they can get the puppets of Newham State council involved. The jobs and the connection from Newham to Woolwich and the benefits to communities could be immeasurable.

The link to the full objection is below. Read it and email us your feelings about the hypocrisy of London City Airport.