Third runway scrapped
Richard Briers thanks Cameron and Clegg
Good Life actor Richard Briers went to Downing Street on Thursday to present the new Prime Minister with a legal Deed of Trust containing the names of over 90,000 people who jointly own a plot of land at the centre of the proposed runway development, and thank David Cameron and Nick Clegg for agreeing to officially scrap Heathrow expansion.
The ‘Airplot’ campaign to buy the land and divide up ownership was launched by Emma Thompson and Alistair McGowan last year as a way to thwart airport operator BAA’s plans to tarmac over the village of Sipson a mile to the north of Heathrow.
The deeds have now closed, and with 91,000 people signed up as beneficial owners of the land any government which had tried to build the runway would have faced a significant legal headache. Among the owners of the one acre plot are Deputy PM Nick Clegg, dozens of MPs, celebrities, local residents and people from around the world concerned about climate change. David Cameron agreed to have a tree planted on the land in his name.
Greenpeace has also revealed the winner of a high-profile architectural competition to design a fort to be constructed on the plot of land to defend it from the bulldozers if necessary. A panel of judges including Turner prize winner Rachel Whiteread sifted through entries from 67 architects and architectural practices before choosing a design for an intricate tunnel network submerged beneath a purpose-built hill.
Greenpeace has committed to building the fortress and occupying it to peacefully defend the iconic plot if BAA continues to push for the runway. The winning design – by London architects Alastair Parvin and Lukas Barry - is a defendable structure that will be collectively created by the thousands of individuals who oppose the runway plans, each person contributing a sack of earth to build up the fortress. The design of the tunnel network within the structure will be kept a carefully guarded secret.
Other entries included a “Martello hive” - an adventure playground which doubles as an underground complex for activists - and a rubber house made from the thousands of aircraft tyres that are discarded at Heathrow each year.
Pictures of the winning design and other entries can be viewed here: www.greenpeace.org.uk/airplot_winners
A free exhibition of the entries to the competition to design the fortress will be held at the Oxo Bargehouse gallery on London’s Southbank from Wednesday 2nd June to Sunday 6th June. Members of the public are invited to view the stunning entries and decide for themselves if the judges got it right.