Newham Council approves London City Airport expansion
- Credit: Archant
Last night Newham Council granted permission for London City Airport to expand.
The terminal will triple to 51,800 sq ft and seven new parking stands for larger aircraft will be built, along with a six-storey hotel.
Take-offs and landings are expected to increase from 70,000 a year to 111,000, almost doubling passengers per year to six million by 2023.
This raised concerns over noise and air pollution at last night’s planning meeting at Stratford’s Old Town Hall.
“The air quality around the airport is really bad,” said Newham community worker Tamsin Omond, 30. “A lot of children in the area have asthma – this is going to make it worse.”
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But the airport says the Bombardier CSeries it plans to use has 20 per cent more fuel efficiency than its current aircraft, which will reduce pollution.
The airport’s chief executive, Declan Collier, added the expansion would “improve lives” in Newham, and the airport will fight pollution by donating a carriage to the Docklands Light Railway to encourage public transport use.
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“We value our relationship with our neighbours and with the community in Newham,” he said. “It will deliver a world-class international gateway to Newham.”
He expects to create 2,000 jobs and double the airport’s contribution to the local and national economy from £750million to £1.5billion by 2023.
He said 30pc of current employees are from Newham, with two thirds from within five miles.
But Cllr Ken Clark said “above 50 or 60pc” of employees should be from the borough.
“We have to balance the skills in the area to the jobs we have available,” said Declan Collier. “Our intention is to employ as many people as we can from Newham.”
The plans faced almost 1,500 objections – but deputy mayor Lester Hudson, who chaired the committee, believes the borough is behind the bid.
“I do feel as a whole the borough is on board,” he said. “It provides much-needed jobs and it will provide training opportunities.”
The airport pledged £5.84m for education, employment and training.
But anti-expansion campaigners are not convinced.
“Once again Newham Council has ridden roughshod over the objectors and fallen for the spin of the airport that expansion will create thousands more jobs,” said chair of HACAN East John Stewart today.
The building work, if given final planning approval by Boris Johnson, is set to start by the end of the year.