Lib Dems oppose all airport expansion in southeast

New runways at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted and plans for a Thames Estuary airport have all been rejected by Liberal Democrats.

Delegates at the party’s annual conference voted against major aviation expansion in the southeast of England.

Lib Dem transport minister Norman Baker said a third runway at Heathrow would cause “untold extra misery” for Londoners.

The party’s transport committee chairman Julian Huppert MP said: “Britain has to get the right balance between our need for international connectivity and the environmental threats we face.

“At the same time, we have to solve decades of bad planning, which has resulted in a quarter of all those in Europe who are affected by noise pollution living under the Heathrow flight-path.

“The motion which the Liberal Democrats have adopted today strikes the right balance for Britain.

“It puts a stop to expansion at Heathrow. It puts an end to the bonkers idea of Boris Island.

“And it says ‘no’ to a South East obsessed aviation policy.”

He told the BBC: “Instead, for the short term, we will make the best use of the capacity we have, and in the long term we will work with the government commission to look for a new hub, but crucially one which will not allow for total capacity above climate change targets, and one which will not become a blight on local lives and local wildlife.”

The government announced a review how airport capacity could be expanded earlier this month.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said ahead of conference that he was against a third runway at Heathrow and “was not persuaded by a Thames Estuary airport” but would wait for the findings of the independent commission.

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