The decision to build an extra runway, as well as the airport’s sixth terminal, was met with anger from many residents who live on the Heathrow flight path, as well as environmentalists and MPs of all parties.
The news is a mixed blessing for Holloway, Egham and the surrounding area. Mr Hoon did announce that the Cranford Agreement, which limits planes taking off to the East of the airport, would end. This would benefit settlements to the West of the airport, including Windsor, Egham and Staines.
At the same time, the confirmation of the extension could have disastrous results for traffic in Egham, as it means the proposed AirTrack train line, which would pass through Egham, is more likely to be given the go ahead. The current plans would mean the level crossings in the town would be closed for up to 45 minutes in every hour.
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties have already said they oppose the plans, with the Conservatives stating that if they win the next General Election they will not allow the expansion to continue. Mayor of London Boris Johnson said he planned to launch a legal battle against the expansion.
In any case, the plans will have to go before a planning inquiry committee. If they are successful, it is thought construction of the new runway and terminal will begin in 2015, and would be completed by 2020.
A Parliamentary Debate followed the announcement in Parliament. When Mr Hoon confirmed that Parliamentary custom did not require a vote on such issues, John McDonnell MP for Hayes and Harlington, whose constituency includes the airport, walked to the front of the House, picking up the Parliamentary Mace and shouting “Disgrace”.
Mr McDonnell walked out of the chamber and was promptly banned for five days. The Mace represents the Royal Authority of the house, and anyone manhandling it is deemed in contempt of Parliament. Speaking in a BBC interview, Mr McDonnell said: “I was hoping the government would allow us a democratic debate and a vote, and to deny that I think undermines our Parliamentary democracy.”
The worst hit group will be the residents of the village of Sipson, which will be demolished in its entirity, including a Church, graveyard, school and 700 homes.