The £14billion expansion of Heathrow to build the controversial third runway will cause '30 years of misery', campaigners warned last night. The sheer
The £14billion expansion of Heathrow to build the controversial third runway will cause ’30 years of misery’, campaigners warned last night.
The sheer scale of the project was revealed yesterday as Britain’s biggest airport laid out its ‘preferred masterplan’ for a vast revamp.
It insisted it was on course to open the runway by 2026, but revealed that the entire project would not be finished until ‘around 2050’.
The sheer scale of the project was revealed yesterday as Britain’s biggest airport laid out its ‘preferred masterplan’ for a vast revamp
When the scheme is completed, the area covered by the airport will expand by more than half – from 4.5 square miles to seven square miles.
Hundreds of homes and businesses in nearby villages will be knocked down, and engineers will divert roads and even rivers.
Three car parks will be built for 52,500 cars, while new rail links will connect Heathrow to the Southern network and the Great Western Main Line, which runs from London Paddington to Bristol.
The M25 would be realigned under a tunnel, rivers diverted and local roads rerouted within the next decade as part of the first phase of expansion of the West London hub. Pictured above is a Grimshaw Architects impression of the new masterplan
To accommodate an extra 60million passengers and 260,000 more flights every year, Terminal 2 and Terminal 5 will be expanded.
Two buildings will be added to Terminal 5 – T5X will contain check-in desks, security, immigration, baggage reclaim, restaurants and shops. A shuttle train will connect it to T5XN, a satellite terminal.
A satellite terminal to process more passengers will also be built by the expanded Terminal 2.
The biggest engineering project will be shifting a 1.2-mile, 12-lane stretch of the M25 almost 500ft to the west to a tunnel 15ft under the new runway. Heathrow said it would not have to close the M25 to do the work, but the RAC warned it could mean ‘years of significant disruption’ for drivers.
This graphic shows the various additions and changes to the site which are planned over the next few decades. Construction is expected to start in 2022, with the runway built by approximately 2026. New terminals will not be ready until around 2050
Extra capacity will also be need to be created around the airport to cater for more car journeys.
Campaigners said the prolonged expansion would have a profound impact on communities across London and the Home Counties.
Paul Beckford, from the No 3rd Runway Coalition group, said Heathrow appeared to want to ‘spread the misery of their expansion plans over a 30-year period, inflicting the blight of construction and the resultant increases in air and noise pollution on communities across London for decades’.
Heathrow has submitted its masterplan to a three-month public consultation, and is expected to apply for planning permission next year.
But it emerged yesterday that a potential roadblock may have been cleared after it was reported that Boris Johnson – tipped to become prime minister and arguably Heathrow’s most high-profile critic – had become resigned to the third runway.
Mr Johnson, whose Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency is nearby, said he would ‘lie down in front of the bulldozers’ to stop the work.
But former transport secretary Lord Adonis claimed he had done a U-turn, saying he privately told Tory MPs the runway would go ahead because it had been backed by Parliament, after MPs voted by 415 to 119 to support the third runway.
Last night, during the Tory leadership debate, Mr Johnson said he still had ‘grave concerns’ about the runway, but repeatedly dodged the question of whether he would block it as prime minister.
A 12-lane section of the M25 will be rerouted through a tunnel under the new runway, as shown in this newly-released artist’s impression. The third runway proposals have faced stiff opposition for many years from environmental campaigners
The plans have been backed by the Airports Commission and business leaders.
But environmental groups, local MPs and residents have vowed to thwart the plans, claiming air pollution at Heathrow is already illegally high.
They say the expansion also undermines the Prime Minister’s pledge for Britain to produce ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050.
Heathrow outlined measures to mitigate the impact on the environment and residents, including compensating homeowners with 125 per cent of the value of their property.
An artist’s impression of one of the new passenger hubs at Heathrow – with Terminals 2 and 5 both set for redevelopment. The four-phase plan was released as a 12-week consultation to allow people to give feedback on the London airport’s proposals
Some £2.6billion will be set aside for compensation, noise insulation for residents and businesses and to fund local amenities.
It has proposed a congestion charge of up to £15 to deter people from driving to the airport.
Robert Barnstone, of the Stop Heathrow Expansion group, said: ‘Heathrow’s plans are laughable.
‘Not only does it want to disrupt people’s lives for up to 30 years whilst building this runway, but proposes jumbo-size car parks whilst pledging to reduce the number of people using cars.’
But Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, said: ‘Expansion must not come at any cost.
That is why we have been working… to ensure our plans show how we can grow sustainably and responsibly.’