Consultation on Heathrow Airport expansion launched

Heathrow Airport is urging people to take part in a consultation about its expansion as bosses reveal their “preferred masterplan”.

The expansion of the west London hub, which involves plans to open a third runway by 2026, has been debated for many years.

A 12-week consultation will allow people to give feedback on Heathrow’s proposals for the future layout of the airport, including the new runway and other infrastructure such as terminals and road access.

The public will also be able to have their say on plans to manage the environmental impacts of expansion, including a proposed Heathrow Ultra Low Emissions Zone, Heathrow Vehicle Access Charge and a proposed 6.5-hour ban on scheduled night flights.

The airport said the consultation also reveals plans for growth in phases – from runway opening in approximately 2026, to the end “masterplan” in approximately 2050.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, said: “Expansion must not come at any cost.

“That is why we have been working with partners at the airport, in local communities and in Government to ensure our plans show how we can grow sustainably and responsibly – with environmental considerations at the heart of expansion.

“This consultation is an opportunity for people to have their say on our preferred masterplan, so it’s really important that as many people as possible take part. We look forward to hearing your views.”

The airport said it will set out plans for mitigating the effects of expansion, including property compensation, noise insulation policy, and a community fund.

The plans revealed in this consultation incorporate the feedback gathered from the airport’s first public consultation on expansion in 2018, and the Airspace and Future Operations Consultation held earlier this year, “as well as from continuous engagement with local communities, local authorities, airlines, environmental stakeholders and other interested parties”, the airport said.

Responses to this consultation will inform Heathrow’s application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) – the planning consent required for the project – which is expected to be submitted to the Transport Secretary next year.

Full consultation documents will be available from 8am on Tuesday morning.

Paul Beckford from the No 3rd Runway Coalition, a campaign organisation opposing the expansion, said: “Heathrow will claim this is the largest consultation ever and that may well be right.

“However, this simply reflects the sheer scale of the impact that their expansion plans will have on local communities.”

Mr Beckford said that “incredibly” it appears Heathrow wants 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”.

He added: “Every community across London and the Home Counties will experience the impacts to these proposals and we urge anyone concerned about the expansion to state their objections loudly and clearly in their responses to the consultation.”

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