A study has found that residents of Kensington and Chelsea, Wandsworth and Hammersmith and Fulham’s health could be at risk from the noise of flights in and out of London Heliport in Battersea, where up to 80 helicopters are permitted to take off and land each day.
The study, carried out by acoustics experts from London South Bank University, found that residents of the three boroughs who find themselves in the flight plan living regularly suffer noise disturbance that exceeds World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended limits.
Now council leaders said the area was once industrial but has now been transformed with residential developments and are urging London Mayor Sadiq Khan to act and relocate it.
London Heliport has a historic planning permission which allows it to continue operating despite it now being in a densely populated part of the capital. The original consent was awarded by the now-defunct Greater London Council in the 1970s which means there is nothing that can be done to reduce operations at the site under planning laws.
The Mayor’s current Draft London Plan proposes that any new heliports are refused which adds to the problem of heavy air traffic at the Battersea site. One solution suggested by the study is for the heliport to develop a noise action plan to manage noise from helicopters. Previously, the government has advised the group there was no statutory requirement for the heliport to prepare an action plan, partly due to a lack of data. So the noise study, by providing new data, offers an opportunity to look at developing a UK model for a heliport noise action plan.
“The results of this study confirm what residents in Fulham, and even further north in the borough, have long been telling us, this heliport is a blight on their lives,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment. It leaves us little choice but to lobby for stricter regulations on noise levels and volume of flights, so that we can better protect our residents’ standards of living.”