BAA has refused to back down over plans to build a train depot on a Feltham conservation area – despite opposition from 300 residents.
The airports operator is planning to use the former marshalling yard – which is now a designated nature reserve – as a depot to store, maintain and clean the fleet of trains for its proposed Airtrack link between Waterloo and Heathrow.
More than 300 residents, councillors and MP Alan Keen made their opposition known to the development on the border of Feltham and Hanworth during a consultation period earlier this year but last Friday BAA said it was going ahead as planned.
A Transport and Works Act application has now been submitted to the Government, leaving opponents feeling their views have been ignored and frustrated and that they are bearing the brunt of the train line without any of the benefits.
Lucy Jardine, of neighbouring Hereford Road, Feltham said: "We are angry but we are not surprised. This was a done deal from day one and they were never going to listen to our views.
"We are going to lose a lovely nature reserve and be driven round the bend by noise and pollution and what do we get out of it? Nothing."
The beleaguered residents got the support of MP Alan Keen, who presented a 300 signature petition to Downing Street last month and pledged to fight the development in parliament.
"The residents of Feltham already have to cope with aircraft noise and they deserve much better than to have to suffer further environmental damage," he said.
"We all understand the economic benefits of Heathrow but the disadvantages must be shared equitably."
The former marshalling yard closed in 1969 but now the conservation area is home to around 150 species of bird including Green Woodpeckers, Linnets, Skylarks and White throats.
BAA has pledged to do 'as much as possible' to protect the most important areas of habitat by moving them to unaffected parts of the site and to minimise the noise and light pollution affecting neighbours by providing screening around the site.