Wednesday 8 July 2015

Heathrow plans for 9,000-home new garden city

Heathrow chiefs today unveiled plans to create a three-runway “aerotropolis” in west London with a 9,000-home new garden city.
In his first speech since the Airports Commission recommended a new runway at Heathrow, the airport’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye told how it would be reshaped to better fit into the local environment and economy.

“When you are relocating hotels and offices, why not put them next to the rail interchange, so that we can have fewer cars on the road — an aerotropolis, if you like,” he told a Runways UK conference in central London.
“If you are re-landscaping the airport boundary, why not link up the open spaces to create a green ribbon round the airport, with better local amenities. And while you are at it, why not improve local flood defences? Why not improve the local road network and cycle paths?”
The Heathrow boss stressed that west London needs regeneration just as much as the east of the city.
“Our neighbours in Southall and Feltham are aspirational,” he added. “Expansion will support the regeneration of west London, and tomorrow you will see an example of a regeneration plan, with the new Heathrow Garden City, including 9,000 homes.” The development is understood to be planned for the Hounslow area.
Mr Holland-Kaye also published plans to increase public transport use by more than 10 per cent over the next four years as it seeks to cut air pollution to ensure this is not a hurdle to expansion.
Calling for an early decision by the Government to back a third runway, he said: “We should get shovels in the ground by 2020 and the benefits of an expanded Heathrow in 2025.”
Work was starting on gaining the planning consents needed for the development.
He signalled that the airport may not agree to all the conditions for expansion proposed by the Airports Commission, but believes an agreement could be struck on them.
He admitted that 800 homes having to be demolished for the third runway would be “very painful” for the owners but stressed they were being offered 25 per cent above the unblighted market value for their properties.
John Stewart, chairman of anti-Heathrow expansion group HACAN who also spoke at the conference, stressed a final decision had not been made as this would be down to the Government, with the Cabinet deeply split.
While some residents would be attracted to the expansion plans by the pledge to stop night flights, others would still oppose them, he was due  to add.