London City Airport "should shelve" its plans to end the weekend respite by adding additional Saturday flights, according to Greenwich councillors who voted to take further steps to oppose the proposals at Woolwich Town Hall on Wednesday (31 March 2023).
The Airport has submitted a planning application to the London Borough of Newham which would add 6/7 hours of additional flights beyond 12.30pm on Saturdays - effectively ending the 24-hour respite from noise pollution caused by flights. City's arrival flight paths run directly over New Eltham and Mottingham, and also Thamesmead. The planning application also seeks permission for additional early morning flights on weekdays and Saturdays.
Councillor Matt Hartley, Leader of the Conservative Opposition, spoke at the Town Hall to propose a cross-party motion opposing City Airport's plans. It was passed unanimously by Conservative and Labour councillors, and means that Greenwich Council will now take further steps to oppose the proposals. These include:
- Formally requesting that City Airport withdraws its planning application, due to the high level of public opposition to its proposals
- Writing to the London Borough of Newham to ensure Greenwich councillors' views are taken fully into account, if the application is not withdrawn
- Calling on the Secretary of State for Transport and Mayor of London to use powers at their disposal to oppose the plans
To raise awareness of the Airport's planning application, Conservative councillors in the south of the borough recently delivered a letter to homes directly under the arrivals flight path over New Eltham and Mottingham - with hundreds responding.
Councillor Matt Hartley, Conservative councillor for Mottingham, Coldharbour and New Eltham ward, said: "London City Airport should shelve these plans. The weekend respite is absolutely crucial in mitigating the noise impact that flights have on areas under the Airport's flight paths - including New Eltham and Mottingham, and Thamesmead. Removing this respite period is both unfair, and unjust.
"City Airport brings enormous benefits to London and the wider UK economy, and - let's not forget - huge convenience to Greenwich residents, too. But these benefits must always be carefully balanced against the detriment that flights cause - both in terms of the environmental impact and noise pollution. These additional flights would upset that delicate balance.
"I am pleased that this motion secured cross-party support at the Town Hall this week, and would like to thank the Council's Cabinet Member for Transport Averil Lekau for working so constructively with me on this - as well as HACAN East and their local supporters for all their work to raise awareness of this issue. It's now over to the Airport to do the right thing and shelve these plans."
Read the full council motion below.