London’s Mayor Boris Johnson has denied permission for the expansion of the London City Airport that would have cost around £220m.
In a letter to the Newham Council, the mayor instructed the local authority’s development control office to refuse planning permission for expanding aircraft infrastructure and passenger facilities on noise grounds.
The airport had asked for permission to build additional parking spaces and new taxiways for accommodating larger planes, which was granted by the council in February but was still subject to the mayor’s approval, reports BBC.
The council at the time imposed conditions as limiting the noise disturbance, such as imposing flight restrictions, erecting a noise barrier and funding soundproofing packages for residents.
The BBC quoted a spokesperson for the mayor as saying that he refused the permission as he was of the view that the scheme project would lead to an unacceptable increase in noise for East Londoners without having any real benefits for the city.
He further stated that the Mayor considered that the only long-term option to balance the airport’s capacity issues was to build a new hub to the city’s east.
The airport had announced in February that the expansion would help it to operate up to a permitted 111,000 annual flights from the current 70,000 flights.
The airport had also claimed that the project would lead to a creation of close to 1,500 new jobs and a further 500 during construction, doubling the economic impact to £1.5bn per annum.
The Newham Recorder quoted London City Airport CEO Declan Collier as saying: "It is ironic that the Mayor of London, whose platform has always been one of advantage for business in London, is denying the capital the business opportunity presented by growth at London City Airport.
"It is doubly ironic that this decision was taken on LCY’s busiest-ever day , when more than 16,500 passengers passed through the terminal. Demand for the connectivity the airport provides is growing, driven by the success of London as a global business centre, and to service this demand, the airport needs to grow."
Image: The Mayor denied expansion permission to the London City Airport on grounds of noise. Photo: courtesy of London City Airport.