Editorial: All hail the Stanwell Moor 'Stimbys'

The latest proposal to build a new Heathrow runway to the immediate south-west of the airport clearly poses a grave threat - but to the smallest number of people

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The Independent Online

Come friendly A380s and tear through Stanwell Moor, home of a peculiar new phenomenon: “Stimbyism”. Stick-it-in-my-backyardism is the best way to describe the attitude of a slew of residents in the little village by Heathrow airport who are willing a third runway to be plonked on top of them, so they can receive the compulsory purchase order and flee.

Should the third runway ever be built, it will probably be the Stimbys who made the vital breakthrough. Others in the little village, naturally, are concerned. Stanwell Moor is a pleasant place, when the planes aren’t flying over, and some of them will fight to save it, while the neighbours are happily hounded out by the 100‑decibel roar.

The latest proposal – to build a new runway to the immediate south-west of the existing airport – clearly poses a grave threat, but to the smallest number, and, in so doing, marks a more rational, and possibly less politicised, approach to the pressing question of airport expansion.

In many areas of public policy, Britain is hobbled either by planning regulation or Nimbyism, and sometimes both. But given the vast majority of land in our country hasn’t been built on, and the imperative for more residential development in particular, we need all the Stimbys we can get.