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We have objected to plans by Heathrow Airport Ltd to take common land and open space at Staines Moor in Surrey for the construction of a new rail-link. The promoters are offering land in exchange, but we consider this to be grossly inadequate.
Staines Moor is a unique, medieval landscape, surviving as a previous wilderness between the M25 motorway and the Staines reservoirs.
It is a site of special scientific interest and a refuge for wildlife. People have rights to walk and ride on the common, and commoners have rights to graze their stock here.
The proposals will devastate this tranquil common. Heathrow Airport is required to provide land in exchange which is ‘equally advantageous to the public’, but the land it is offering is not a site of special scientific interest and is a degraded habitat. Indeed, much of it is contaminated land.
It is impossible to replace the unique Staines Moor, and there is no land in the vicinity which can provide adequate compensation for what we are set to lose.
We believe that the promoters should site their rail link away from the moor. They should recognise that Staines Moor is a no-go area for development. We have sent our objection to the Planning Inspectorate and the Government Office for London.