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Plans for third runway at Heathrow approved

PUBLISHED: 16:50 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:49 07 September 2010

THE government has approved plans for a third runway at Heathrow despite protests about the expansion. Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon announced the decision in the House of Commons today, prompting John McDonnell, MP for the village Sipson which is to be

THE government has approved plans for a third runway at Heathrow despite protests about the expansion.

Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon announced the decision in the House of Commons today, prompting John McDonnell, MP for the village Sipson which is to be demolished by the construction, to label it a "disgrace to democracy"

The move comes days after two West Hampstead women actress Emma Thompson and activist Tamsin Omond made their own separate bids to halt the action.

Oscar-winning Ms Thompson joined with Greenpeace UK, comedian Alistair McGowan and environmentalist Zac Goldsmith to buy the land needed for the third runway.

The Greenpeace project to buy the runway land - called "Airplot" - aims to slow down the plans, forcing the government to compulsory purchase the land from them.

And they are now giving pieces of land away to supporters to ensure it is difficult to track down and force the action on owners.

The group say the decision is not the end of the campaign and they will keep fighting no matter what.

Ms Thompson said: "I don't understand how any government remotely serious about committing to reversing climate change can even consider these ridiculous plans. It's laughably hypocritical. That's why we've bought a plot on the runway.

"We'll stop this from happening even if we have to move in and plant vegetables."

Ms Omond was one of five protestors from anti-aviation group Plane Stupid who took to the roof of Parliament to oppose the runway in February last year. She also spearheaded the Climate Rush, a feminist protest to the doors of parliament calling for climate change action.

On Monday she led a group of more than 400 in "polite protest" where they wore Edwardian dress, danced and picnicked with a string quartet and chanted.

And already today the group were plotting further demonstrations.

Prior to today's action she said: "The protest was incredible and exactly what we wanted it to be."

"It was peaceful and a wonderful meeting of people from all different backgrounds.

"I'm definitely supporting what Greenpeace and Emma Thompson are doing as well. We are sending a really clear message to Gordon Brown. Even if he gives way to airport expansion there's no way they'll build it.


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