Villagers vow court battle over third runway at Heathrow Airport

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Defiance, frustration and just a little bit of anger was stoked up among villagers living in the shadow of the proposed Heathrow runway.

As controversial plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport were approved by ministers, the villagers vowed take their battle to court.

Roy Barwick lives in Harmondsworth, one of the villages which is being told to make way for Heathrow’s third runway.

Mr Barwick, whose grandchildren are the sixth generation of his family, to live in the region, described the way that residents have been treated as “an absolute disgrace.”

He said: “My family all live here in Harmondsworth. My children and grandchildren occupy four houses and we will all be forcibly evicted from our homes.”

The runway row has rumbled on for years and people have made plans over the many years based on assurances there would be no third runway, according to campaigners.

Mr Barwick said: “We have been treated as if we are airport fodder so that we can be lied to and evicted at will.

“You cannot put your life on hold for 15 years which is what we have been forced to do.

“Community and continuity is important to people. This is a situation where people in an English village who are living quietly and peacefully are being made displaced persons in our own country.”

Neil Keveren, whose house will face the boundary fence of the new runway, said residents feel “100% betrayed” and vowed that “a legal challenge will start next if the MPs fail us.”

He lives in Harmondsworth and was born in Sipson, another village which is set to be impacted.

Fizzing with anger and frustration, he pointed out that the latest move comes years after David Cameron’s “no ifs, no buts” commitment that there would be no third runway at Heathrow.

He described the Conservatives now as a “big disappointment” on this issue.

He said: “It is like a bad dream.

“I will be 55 paces from the boundary fence. I am fabric to that area. My grandparents worked the land. My little garden is my sanctuary. I want to sit there and there is no figure you can put on memories, life and history.

“I do not think it will go through eventually but it will make lives a misery for at least the next five years and in the meantime homes will be devalued.”

His next-door neighbour Justine Bayley, 68, wore a red t-shirt with the words “No 3rd Runway” across the front, said: “I would be living in a plane spotters paradise.

“I would be overlooking where they take off and that is not the reason I decide to move to Harmondsworth 25 years ago.

“It has a long history and to wipe it and it’s community out is just not sensible.”

Defiantly, she believes that “it may be the preferred option but it does not mean it will go ahead.”

Campaigners say all the long-running protest arguments – including fears about pollution, noise and costs – still remain. They do not believe ther will be an economic benefit.

Ms Bayley said “nothing has changed” adding that it would “wipe out” two villages and make others “uninhabitabitable”.

Christine Taylor is co-ordinator of Stop Heathrow Expansion, the group which represents the communities that would lose their homes.

She said: “This will just take us to the courts. It has 16 years we have been fighting this and we will continue fighting it.

“Essentially we believe what they are promising is undeliverable.

“They are ignoring the evidence and are ploughing on.”

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