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Lord Bradshaw: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for her reply. In tabling the amendment I was mindful of the fact that more and more aircraft are flying over national parks. The deregulation of the air market and cheaper flights have led to an increasing number of flights. I find it difficult to be convinced that the maximum effort is being made to avoid the national parks.

The noble Baroness talked about safety being paramount. Of course, we understand that safety is a very big issue. However, I cannot believe that it is impossible to route aircraft away from places such as the Brecon Beacons, which are constantly being overflown, if real effort was put into that. I would like to press the amendment and take the opinion of the House simply to underline the fact that something ought to be done about these places if they are not to become like everywhere else—noisy. For that reason, I wish to take the opinion of the House.

Lord Haworth: My Lords, before the noble Lord does so, will he help me on one small point? I think I am right in saying that there are well developed plans to have a national park covering the South Downs. The South Downs are closely adjacent to Gatwick airport. A national park that covered the South Downs—of which I am strongly in favour as it would afford protection to that very valuable area—would comprise a very long rectangle along the southern coast of Britain. It seems to me very likely that the noble Lord's amendment would put Gatwick airport out of business. Will he help me on that?

Lord Bradshaw: My Lords, I certainly do not know the detail of the flight paths into Gatwick. However, we should avoid flying over the national parks if we can. I am not saying that they are no-go areas. I realise that there are demands for military flying and all sorts of things. However, I think that a real effort should be made in that regard. If the South Downs are designated a national park, and that means that flights to Gatwick have to vary very slightly their approach to or take-off from Gatwick, then so be it if we want a national park which people can enjoy. I wish to test the opinion of the House.

5.53 pm

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 9) shall be agreed to?
 
8 Mar 2006 : Column 789
 

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 54; Not-Contents, 128.


Division No. 4


CONTENTS

Addington, L.
Ampthill, L.
Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, L.
Avebury, L.
Ballyedmond, L.
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.
Bradshaw, L.
Chidgey, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dykes, L.
Falkland, V.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Finlay of Llandaff, B.
Garden, L.
Goodhart, L.
Greaves, L.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hooson, L.
Jones of Cheltenham, L.
Kilclooney, L.
Kirkwood of Kirkhope, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E. [Teller]
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Northover, B.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Razzall, L.
Rennard, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shutt of Greetland, L. [Teller]
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Taverne, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Tonge, B.
Tope, L.
Tyler, L.
Vinson, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Adams of Craigielea, B.
Adonis, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Anderson of Swansea, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bhattacharyya, L.
Billingham, B.
Bilston, L.
Borrie, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Carter of Coles, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cobbold, L.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crawley, B. [Teller]
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Dixon, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Elystan-Morgan, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Foulkes of Cumnock, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Brookwood, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Haskel, L.
Haworth, L.
Hayman, B.
Henig, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McDonagh, B.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Mar, C.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Monson, L.
Moonie, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Nicol, B.
O'Neill of Clackmannan, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Paul, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rees-Mogg, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rooker, L.
Rosser, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sewel, L.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Skidelsky, L.
Slynn of Hadley, L.
Smith of Finsbury, L.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Snape, L.
Soley, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Bolton, B.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Wall of New Barnet, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Norwood Green, L.


Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.


 
8 Mar 2006 : Column 790
 
6.02 pm

Clause 4 [Power for aerodromes to establish noise control schemes]:

Baroness Hanham moved Amendment No. 10:


"( ) Local authorities in whose areas the aerodrome (or any part of it) is situated are given the authority to—
(a) monitor flight and ground level airport-related noise;
(b) audit and monitor the effectiveness of noise control procedures at airports.
( ) Aerodromes are required to demonstrate—
(a) how issues highlighted by local authorities through their monitoring function have been taken into consideration; and
(b) any subsequent mitigating measures adopted;
and make such responses accessible to the public."

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I apologise to the House for the confusion that I have inadvertently caused. I have spoken to the amendment and I shall not weary the House by going through it all again. Perhaps the Minister can find his notes on the amendment. I beg to move.

Lord Smith of Leigh: My Lords, first, I declare interests as director of Manchester Airport Group and leader of Wigan Council. I share the noble Baroness's views that as representatives of local communities, local authorities should play a key role in the monitoring of noise around airports; but I question the necessity for this amendment, because local authorities have existing powers to play a full part in those areas if they wish to do so—particularly regarding the role of environmental health officers. One of their roles is to monitor noise at all points
 
8 Mar 2006 : Column 791
 
within a local authority area, where they believe it contributes to a nuisance to local people. Clearly that is the case in relation to this issue.

Local authorities, if they are smart, can also use the planning laws, particularly if there are plans to extend an airport—they can use Section 106 of those laws to reach agreements with airports to ensure that they can cement the relationship and have access to the airport monitoring information to make sure that they are being effective.

The amendment also does not seem fully to take into account that airports are part of their local communities and, therefore, wish to co-operate with local authorities to make sure that airport noise monitoring is effective. That is the whole purpose of the earlier clause and I do not believe that the power provided in the amendment is necessary. Certainly, in relation to airports with which I am involved—Manchester, Nottingham and East Midlands—local authorities play a full part in the monitoring processes and we have an open-door access policy to ensure that local authorities have all the information that the airport has about noise, which they can use in any way that they wish.


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