Monday, February 08, 2010

Redbridge Writes to Sir Robin Wales On Lack of Consultation

Sir Robin Wales
4th Floor, West Wing
London Borough of Newham
Newham Dockside
1000 Dockside Road
E16 2QU

Direct line 020 8708 2100
Fax 020 8478 2356
Town Hall, PO Box 2, High Road
Ilford, Essex. IG1 1DD

Our ref
Your ref
Date 8th December 2009

Dear Sir Robin,

Planning application to increase flights to/ from London City Airport

You may be aware that recent changes to flight paths in this part of London and your Council’s approval to a planning application to increase the number of aircraft movements in and out of City Airport has been subject of considerable concern over recent months amongst residents within Redbridge.

As a result, this issue was raised at Full Council on 19th November 2009 when the Council agreed to recognise residents' concern over (a) the expansion of London City Airport, and (b) flight path changes relating to "stacking" for London Heathrow Airport; it believes that the increased number of flights using these airports and the associated noise nuisance and environmental impact is detrimental to Redbridge residents. The Council decided that it will oppose further expansion or changes to flight paths or the mode of operation of airports (including without limitation any extension to the hours of operation of airports whether temporary or permanent) which would result in an increase in aircraft noise suffered by residents of this Borough.

I was asked to write to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and NATS to ask what action they took to consult residents of Redbridge on the changes to flight paths and London City Airport expansion. Additionally, Members instructed that I write to London City Airport in response to their consultation on their proposed Noise Action Plan 2009-2014 stating that this Council is opposed to any further expansion of London City Airport, changes to its mode of operation, hours of operation, flight paths or any increase in the number of flights which would result in any increase in aircraft noise suffered by residents of this Borough.

Also, and my reason for writing to you, is that Members asked me to convey to you their concern at the lack of consultation between our authorities in connection with the recent planning decision to increase the number of take offs and landings at City Airport.

Clearly the two matters of flight paths and City Airport expansion have become related issues in so far as the impact on Redbridge is concerned and this has had anegative impact on residents of Redbridge. My Council does not believe that sufficient attention was given to the coupled effect of these changes on Redbridge in making a decision. Clearly, the impact of the proposal to increase the number of flights ought to have been considered in tandem with flight path changes.

Members believe that this information should have been sought and sent to Redbridge. Under the Town and Country Planning General Development Procedure Order 1995 the procedure for consultation between neighbouring authorities where land of a neighbouring authority is affected is for the deciding Local Planning Authority to send the application and related documents to the neighbouring planning authority. I understand that this procedure was not followed because Newham planning officers felt that the actual movement of flights beyond taking off and landing at the airport was beyond the scope of the planning application and a matter for NATS.

However, Members feel that the change in flight paths has had an adverse impact on Redbridge and this was relevant to the application for increased aircraft movements. Therefore, the full consultation process between planning authorities ought to have been followed with the provision of all relevant information.

Clearly, this Council would appreciate your views on what matters were taken into account in deciding the application and assurances that any further applications which could result in increased movements from City Airport over Redbridge is subject to the full consultation procedures between planning authorities.

Yours sincerely,


This letter was provided by courtesy of Redbridge Council through a FOI request.