HUNDREDS of protesters took to the streets in a show of unity against the third runway planned for Heathrow.

Almost 500 residents, including men, women, children, pensioners and even dogs marched in defiance at BAA's plans to destroy their communities to make way for expansion at Heathrow airport.

Carrying torches, glowsticks and banners, the 500-strong procession marched along the route of the proposed runway through Sipson Lane and Harmondsworth Lane, chanting their mantra, "No Third Runway".

The rally on Sunday, October, 30, organised by No Third Runway Action Group (NoTRAG), came the day before public consultation ended on the proposed expansion.

NoTRAG spokesman Geraldine Nicholson told the crowd of supporters: "My heart was lifted today when I arrived in Harlington and saw all these people.

"You have to know we do have a chance to stop this. This is not a done deal. We will not stop fighting against this."

The march ended at the village green in Harmondsworth for rallying speeches and fireworks.

Father Phil Hughes, parish priest of St Mary the Virgin Church, in Harmondsworth, and Heathrow Airport Chaplain, told the crowd he knew the fight for the third runway was far from over.

He said: "Some people believe this is a done deal. Some people believe this will go ahead now, no matter what we say or do. In all fights you must be positive. Postive action leads to positive results."

He added: "My message to you is that we keep fighting, we will win."

Cllr Richard Barnes, Greater London Assembly member for Hillingdon, joined the march.

He thanked everyone for turning out and said that Hillingdon would not be defeated. He said he wanted more and more people to join the fight against the plans to expand the airport.

A BAA spokesman said: "Heathrow offers enormous benefits to the local and national economies but we are keenly aware that our operations have a significant impact on our surrounding communities.

"The challenge for us is to secure the continued growth and deliver the benefits of Heathrow in a way which is both socially and environmentally responsible.

"We genuinely believe in the importance of being a good neighbour and will continue working toward this goal. We welcome all feedback and for this reason we have consulted and, will continue to consult widely, on all issues effecting our local residents.

"Now that the consultation period has closed we will begin work on the updated interim master plan which will be published in 2006."

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