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British actress Emma Thompson has joined with Greenpeace to buy a plot of land earmarked for a proposed third runway at Heathrow airport in London.

The 49-year-old actress said it was “hypocritical” for the government to promise to reduce greenhouse gases while increasing air traffic capacity by expanding the country’s largest airport.

“I don’t understand how any government remotely serious about committing to reversing climate change can even consider these ridiculous plans,” she said. “We’ll stop this from happening even if we have to move in and plant vegetables.”

The land was purchased for around US$36,500 in the village of Sipson, where hundreds of family houses are to be destroyed if the expansion project goes ahead.

“The legal owners of the site will block the runway at every stage through the planning process and in the courts,” said Greenpeace director John Sauven. “They will never sell the land to Spanish-owned airport operator BAA, and if it comes to it many thousands of people will be prepared to peacefully defend their field in person, standing in front of bulldozers and blocking construction.”

As well as Thompson, the coalition of land owners include comedian Alistair McGowan, opposition politicians, Greenpeace members and scientists.

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