This month I am using my column to congratulate and thank all those who attended and helped organise the demonstration against the expansion of Heathrow Airport on Saturday. It was a fantastic turnout that demonstrated the strength of feeling against Heathrow expansion.

Community organisations and environmental groups from across London and the whole country joined our community in calling on the Government to listen to our fears of what devastation would be caused if a third runway is permitted.

This week in Parliament I have been fighting to prevent the Government using its new planning laws to bounce through planning proposals for the expansion of Heathrow. The Government's planning bill sets up a planning commission made up of so-called experts who will decide on the major planning applications like expansion of airports and the construction of nuclear power stations. These experts will be guided by national planning policy statements. These National Planning Policy Statements will be drafted in consultation with local councils, environmental groups and local community organisations. The statements will also be scrutinised by Parliament. The policy commission will take decisions on whether major developments like Heathrow's expansion can go ahead.

My fear was that the third runway proposal would be bounced through this procedure based upon the Government Aviation White Paper published in 2003. This would have meant the decision would be based upon inaccurate and out-of-date information doctored by BAA. In the debate in Parliament this week I pinned down ministers to confirm that they could not allow the new planning commission to take a decision on Heathrow unless a new policy statement consulted upon and agreed by Parliament. This means that any attempt to force through a third runway based upon the out of date and inaccurate aviation white paper would be totally discredited and, in my view, open to a legal challenge.

If we can secure an open and honest debate over the development of a New National Policy Statement for Aviation I believe the augments against Heathrow expansion would be overwhelming and this way we can defeat the threat of a third runway and sixth terminal to our community.