Catalogue description Roskill Commission on the Third London Airport

This record is held by Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service

Details of CS LA
Reference: CS LA
Title: Roskill Commission on the Third London Airport
Description:

CS LA/1 Stage One (original submissions to the Commission)

 

CS LA/2 Stage Two (evidence given at local hearings)

 

CS LA/2/F Foulness Site

 

CS LA/2/N Nuthampstead Site

 

CS LA/2/T Thurleigh Site

 

CS LA/2/W Wing Site

 

CS LA/3 Stage Three (written submissions by parties)

 

CS LA/4 Stage Four (minutes of meetings between the Commission and parties to discuss aspects of the Commission Research Team's published work and to lay the ground work for Stage Five).

 

CS LA/5 Stage Five (final hearings of all parties)

 

CS LA/5/A General Matters

 

CS LA/5/B Statements of Evidence - First Tier Local Authorities

 

CS LA/5/B1 Beds, Bucks, Cambs, Herts, Hunts, Essex & Northants CCs

 

CS LA/5/B2 Beds, Cambs, Essex, Herts, Hunts & Northants CCs

 

CS LA/5/B3 Beds, Bucks, Herts & Northants CCs

 

CS LA/5/B4 Beds, Bucks, Northants & Oxon CCs

 

CS LA/5/B5 Cambs, Essex & Herts CCs

 

CS LA/5/B6 Bucks CC

 

CS LA/5/B7 Bucks & Oxon CCs

 

CS LA/5/B8 Herts CC

 

CS LA/5/B9 Kent CC

 

CS LA/5/B10 Other Local Authorities - Surrey CC, West Sussex CC, GLC, Luton County Borough and Southend-on-Sea County Borough

 

CS LA/5/C Statements of Evidence - Other Authorities with Statutory Responsibilities

 

CS LA/5/C1 British Airports Authority

 

CS LA/5/C2 Other Transport Authorities (BEA, BOAC, BRB, Port of London Authority)

 

CS LA/5/C3 Development Corporations (MKDC and Stevenage DC)

 

CS LA/5/D Statements 0f Evidence - Resistance Associations & Similar Groups

 

CS LA/5/D1 BARA

 

CS LA/5/D2 ACAFA

 

CS LA/5/D3 NPA

 

CS LA/5/D4 WARA

 

CS LA/5/D5 The Sheppey Group

 

CS LA/5/D6 TECDA

 

CS LA/5/D7 Burnham, River Crouch & Seaward Approaches Protection Association

 

CS LA/5/E Statements of Evidence - Other Bodies

 

CS LA/5/E1 TEDCO

 

CS LA/5/E2 Thames Aeroport Group Ltd.

 

CS LA/5/E3 Planning & Other Professional Bodies (SERPLAN, TCPA and RIBA)

 

CS LA/5/E4 Aviation Groups (BALPA, British Gliding Ass., London Gliding Club, British Light Aviation Centre)

 

CS LA/5/E5 Agricultural & Landowning Bodies (CLA and NFU)

 

CS LA/5/E6 Environmental & Heritage Bodies (CPRE and NT)

 

CS LA/5/E7 Bodies Concerned with Noise Pollution (BACAN, KACAN and Noise Abatement Society)

 

CS LA/5/E8 Ornithological Bodies (RSPB and Wildfowl Trust)

 

CS LA/5/E9 Other Organisations (Cambridge University)

 

CS LA/5/F Local Hearings

 

CS LA/5/G Written Representations

 

CS LA/5/H Transcripts of Proceedings

 

CS LA/6 Miscellaneous Correspondence

 

CS LA/7 Miscellaneous Publications

 

CS LA/7/A HMSO Papers & Proceedings of the Commission

 

CS LA/7/B Further Research Team material

 

CS LA/7/C Other Publications

Held by: Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Administrative / biographical background:

GLOSSARY

 

ACAFA Action Committee Against Foulness Airport

 

BAA British Airports Authority

 

BACAN British association for the Control of Aircraft Noise

 

BALPA British Airline Pilots' Association

 

BARA Bedfordshire Airport Resistance Association

 

BCC Bedfordshire County Council

 

BEA British European Airways

 

BOAC British Overseas Airways Corporation

 

BRB British Railways Board

 

CC County Council

 

CLA Country Landowners' Association

 

CPRE Council for the Protection of Rural England

 

GANE Gatwick Anti Noise Executive

 

GLC Greater London Council

 

KACAN Kew Association for Control of Aircraft Noise

 

LLUDC Leighton Linslade Urban District Council

 

MKDC Milton Keynes Development Corporation

 

NFU National Farmers' Union

 

NPA Nuthampstead Preservation Association

 

NPS Nuthampstead Preservation Society

 

PC Parish Council

 

RDC Rural District Council

 

RSPB Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

 

SERPLAN South East Regional Planning Association

 

STOL Short Take-Off and Landing (aircraft)

 

TCPA Town & Country Planning Association

 

TECDA Thurleigh Emergency Committee for Democratic Action

 

TEDCO Thames Estuary Development Corporation

 

TLA Third London Airport

 

TUC Trades Union Conference

 

UDC Urban District Council

 

WARA Wing Airport Resistance Association

 

WI Women's Institute

 

The Roskill Commission was set up to investigate the possibility of building a third airport to serve London (after Heathrow and Gatwick). The Inquiry was held over five stages between 1968 and 1970. These stages are outlined below.

 

Stage One

 

The preliminary stage before the shortlisted sites were announced.

 

Stage Two

 

The Commission published information about the four shortlisted sites which were:

 

Foulness (Essex);

 

Nuthampstead (Herts);

 

Thurleigh (Beds);

 

Wing (Bucks), also known as Cublington.

 

At Stage Two, four hearings were held, one in the vicinity of each site and relating only to that site, at which evidence from interested parties was heard.

 

Stage Three

 

A Research Team appointed by the Commission carried our investigations in order to produce a report. Technical submissions from interested parties were received and studied.

 

Stage Four

 

A series of meetings was held at which the Commission, the Research Team and representatives of those parties who had been granted leave to appear at Stage Five discussed aspects of the Research Team's report.

 

Stage Five

 

74 days of hearings took place at the Piccadilly Hotel in London during which all interested parties stated their case and underwent cross-examination from counsel employed by other parties. The hearings were broken down into seven types of evidence as follows:

 

Subject A: Principles and Methods of Valuation in the Cost/Benefit Analysis;

 

Subject B: the Timing of the Need for the Airport;

 

Subject C: Air Matters (i.e. air traffic control, the effect on other airports and on defence installations and air safety).

 

Subject D: Site Matters (airport design, location, construction & layout and meteorology

 

Subject E: Surface Transport

 

Subject F: Environment & Planning, including Noise and Urbanisation

 

Subject G: Any Other Relevant Matters (including financial implications).

 

Each subject was heard individually with defence matters being held at separate sessions "in camera". The submissions of evidence and cross-examination of witnesses was followed by closing speeches.

 

At the end of the process the Commission recommended, on a majority decision, that the Third London Airport, together with its surrounding "Airport City" should be sited at Wing. One member of the Commission dissented, believing that Foulness was the best option.

 

In the event the Wing option was discarded and the government of the day eventually decided to build the new airport at Maplin Sands (Essex), not far from the original Foulness site. However, in July 1974, the Maplin project was abandoned. The government then considered other options, including making Luton into London's third airport. By December 1979 the then government considered the expansion of Stansted airport to be the best solution.

 

This archive has been compiled from the files created by Bedfordshire County Council's County Secretary's Department. They naturally favour the two sites that would effect the county most (Thurleigh and Wing), though a considerable amount of evidence concerning the Nuthampstead and Foulness sites as well as general information concerning the issue as a whole was compiled. The County Record Office's normal practice (as outlined in its Collecting Policy) is to collect material mainly of relevance to Bedfordshire. However, given the interlinked nature of the records of the Commission and the fact that the Third London Airport was an important national issue of which records might well not survive elsewhere, it was decided to keep the archive intact, retaining information on the Bucks, Herts and Essex sites and fights as well as those concerning Thurleigh. This enables the researcher to build up a picture of the work of the Commission and the co-ordinated campaign against the various sites. It also serves to highlight differences of approach and/or emphasis between Bedfordshire County Council and BARA compared with other local authorities and pressure groups.

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