NO new homes could be built in vast swathes of Cranford if an agreement protecting the village from take-offs from Heathrow is scrapped, it is claimed.

The Cranford Agreement, which has been in place since the 1950s, could disappear under Whitehall proposals for expansion at the airport.

But some experts claim the consequences of relentless noise could be dire for residents and the area's future.

Rob Gibson, Hounslow Council's head of environmental strategy, said if abolition was approved the Government's own planning guidance would put the kibosh on new developments.

"The council wouldn't be able to give planning permission because it's too noisy," he told the Chronicle, in its latest in a series of articles about expansion at Heathrow.

There are already areas where the 72 decibel limit is exceeded but Mr Gibson said this would increase to cover a 'significant amount' of the area.

His warning came as Hounslow's MPs Alan and Ann Keen met with aviation minister Jim Fitzpatrick to discuss concerns over the consultation.

The Department for Transport (DfT) admits the agreement would have to be reneged if the airport was to operate under the 'mixed mode' system for landings and take-offs.

The consultation document says the protection of the village is at the expense of Windsor and north Feltham during 'easterly operations'.

An end to the agreement would redistribute noise more fairly around the airport on these occasions, it adds.

But Hounslow Council argues because it leaves the door open to 'mixed mode' all communities would suffer from noise regardless.

"Abolishing Cranford would mean an inhuman and unbearable level of noise for people living there," said Hounslow's aviation spokeswoman Barbara Reid.

However Paul Ellis, British Airways' general manager for infrastructure policy, said aircraft were much noisier and less powerful in the 1950s.

"They now take off more steeply so by the time they are above the community they are several hundred feet in the air."

He said 'mixed-mode' would allow the airport to operate the runways in a normal way, improve performance and cut down on delays.

Meanwhile, the Keens have vowed to do everything in their power to uphold the agreement.

"We will do everything in our power to ensure that the Cranford Agreement is upheld," they said.

They husband and wife team said they were opposed in principle to the third runway but need more economic information from the airline industry and Department for Transport.

But in a House of Commons debate last week, Mr Keen went further as he told MPs: "Enough is enough."