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Heritage groups slam runway plans

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Government plans to build new runways at both Stansted and Heathrow represent 'the biggest threat to Britain's heritage since the Blitz', architectural lobbyists have warned.

Both SAVE Britain's Heritage and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings have attacked the transport secretary's pre-Christmas announcement as 'completely unreasonable'.

They are furious that Alistair Darling has effectively signed a demolition order for up to 100 listed buildings, including two scheduled historical monuments.

A runway adjacent to Stansted's current site would, according to SAVE's Adam Wilkinson, cut a swathe through some of the South East's most historic countryside, while in the Heathrow area Harmondsworth's Grade Ilisted Great Tithe Barn would also have to go.

Wilkinson told the AJ that heritage campaigners are 'furious'.

'We cannot believe that so many highly important buildings might simply be demolished, ' he said.

'Even if an American lawyer promised us we would win millions of dollars, we still wouldn't sue, ' he added.

'We are determined to fight hand-in-hand with local opposition groups, offering advice and support on how to save these areas'.

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