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Activists from Reclaim the Power and Plane Stupid block a mock runway on College Green outside the Houses of Parliament [Image: PA].

Activists from Reclaim the Power and Plane Stupid block a mock runway on College Green outside the Houses of Parliament [Image: PA].

This was a decision that could have been taken by David Cameron last year – but he delayed it in order to allow Zac Goldsmith to run as a London mayoral candidate earlier this year.

Mr Goldsmith had said he would not  campaign to be London’s mayor – and would quit as an MP – if a new runway at Heathrow was approved.

Now he has acted on that promise – there will be a by-election for his Richmond Park constituency. Some might say it should have happened last year, considering the Islamophobia that marred his mayoral campaign.

Meanwhile, the pundits and social media chatterboxes have been having a field day. it seems everyone has something to say. Here’s Marcus Chown:

Labour’s Rosena Allin-Khan:

Martha Gill of the Huffington Post put up the letter from Richmond Park Conservative Association, as good as admitting Mr Goldsmith was resigning:

Con_Dem Nation had the response:

No doubt it is continuing as I write this. Let it.

Here’s a note of caution from the Daily Mirror:

Even if MPs vote to give the go-ahead next year, work is unlikely to start before 2020, which realistically means the runway not opening until 2025.

That is before we take into account the expected opposition from environmentalists, possible legal challenges and lengthy delays in the planning process as residents under the flight path and local councils fight the expansion.

Four local councils have indicated that they are ready to fight Heathrow expansion, and others will join them. Also London’s Gatwick and Stansted airports could mount legal challenges to the decision.

With only two runways, air pollution around Heathrow already exceeds European Union limits. A third runway would add 300,000 extra flights and around 25m extra road journeys per year.

Source: Analysis: Will Heathrow’s third runway ever be built? London’s 70-year wait is far from over – Mark Ellis – Mirror Online

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