Airports Commission estimates new homes needed for new runway – 18,400 at Gatwick; 70,800 at Heathrow (maybe more)
The Airports Commission estimates that a 3rd Heathrow runway could require up to 70,800 homes to be built locally to support the additional jobs created by the development. The Commission estimates a Gatwick 2nd runway could require up to 18,400 homes to be delivered across 14 local authorities, and it said this could be done up to 2030, with “land availability unlikely to be affected by green belt issues”. (Estimate of 30,000 – 45,000 homes by W Sussex County Council + Gatwick Diamond). More houses would be needed for Heathrow expansion than Gatwick expansion, due to more additional business activity following a runway at Heathrow than at Gatwick, and more from the airport’s north-west runway plan (up to 70,800), than the Heathrow Hub idea of extending the northern runway (up to 60,600). The Commission acknowledges that these upper limits may present challenges for local authorities, outlining that “many… already struggle to meet housing targets”. The only relief would be that the homes could be delivered over a number of years, and the pain would be shared between many authorities. However, Green Belt would be seriously threatened – not to mention urban cramming and loss of village character.
Heathrow expansion ‘could require 70,800 new homes’
11 November 2014 (Planning)
by Susie Sell
Proposals to build an additional runway at Heathrow Airport could require up to 70,800 homes to be delivered locally to support the additional jobs created by the development, a report has found.
The government’s Airports Commission has revealed the findings of its independent assessment of the three shortlisted options for increasing aviation capacity in the UK.
One option for consideration is a second runway at Gatwick Airport, which the Airport Commission said could require up to 18,400 homes to be delivered across 14 local authorities.
It said this would likely be deliverable over the period to 2030, with “land availability unlikely to be affected by green belt issues”.
However, the report said that proposals to expand Heathrow’s northern runway or to build a new full length runway at the airport, would require significantly more homes to support the resulting employment benefits.
It said the Northern Runway proposal would require up to 60,600 new homes, while the creating the new North West Runway would require up to 70,800 new homes.
In both instances the Airports Commission acknowledged that these upper limits may present challenges for local authorities locally, outlining that “many… already struggle to meet housing targets”.
But it said that this would be mitigated by the timescales for delivery and the fact the requirement is spread over 14 local authorities.
Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission, said the group had “not yet taken a view on which proposal strikes the most effective balance between the assessment criteria”.
He said: “It is important first that we provide an opportunity for this evidence to be examined, challenged and improved. This consultation gives everyone with an interest in the issue of airport expansion that opportunity.
“Responses to this consultation will be a valuable addition to our evidence base and will directly inform our recommendation to the government when we publish our final report in the summer of 2015.”
Kim Cohen, planning partner at Barton Willmore, said the delivery of the number of homes required highlighted the need for strategic planning by local authorities.
She added: “Clearly one of the characteristics of many of the local authorities that surround both Heathrow and Gatwick is green belt. So it clearly throws up a need for a comprehensive, strategic review of the green belt and some creative ways of dealing with that.
“[You also need to think about] national and regional infrastructure planning to ensure that the economic benefits are maximised; making sure that infrastructure is properly considered; and that the housing can be delivered.”
The consultation document can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/373210/consultation-document.pdf
Estimate of housing needed due to a 2nd Gatwick runway, by West Sussex County Council and the Gatwick Diamond
Broad scale housing forecasts for the Gatwick Diamond (2)
• 2 runways at Gatwick (with catalytic) could generate demand for increased housing:-
»2015-2020: 500/1,000 units pa
»2020-2025: 2,500/3,000 units pa
»2025-2030: 3,000/5,000 units pa
by BERKELEY HANOVER CONSULTING LIMITED (BHC) FEBRUARY 2013
Airports Commission document on Gatwick (Nov 2014)
Extracts relating to homes:
A number of local councils, including both Crawley and Croydon, have identified
challenges in meeting existing housing targets and any additional homes required
to facilitate expansion at Gatwick would exacerbate this. However, the additional
housing required is not of a scale which is likely to significantly increase these
pressures, given the potential timescales for delivery and the number of local
2.56 Growth of jobs and businesses associated with the airport has the potential to put
pressure on housing in the local area. In order to consider the potential maximum
need for additional housing in 2030 as a result of airport expansion, Table 2.10
below demonstrates the range in the forecast of homes required as a result of
airport expansion if all employees are new to the area. Of the additional employees,
the number seeking residences in the local area is assumed to be consistent
with the baseline, at 79% of direct employees and 87% of indirect and induced
This housing would typically be provided in a phased manner and across the entire
assessment area, and therefore the demands on any individual local authority are
likely to be relatively small. For example, if we assume these properties are provided
over a 10 year period (2020-2030) and split evenly across the 14 local authorities,
then the additional housing need for each LA would be only 130 houses per year at
the highest end of the range. There are also many reasons the additional housing
required is unlikely to be as high as these figures, depending on assumptions about
population growth, net migration, unemployment and commuting. For instance
the relatively high unemployment figure in Crawley could lead to a situation where
many of the jobs are filled by people who already live in Crawley, and so fewer
new homes would be needed. Local authorities in the areas neighbouring Gatwick
are taking steps to increase housing provision to 2030 given already existing
pressures, and in particular Crawley, the authority most dependent on the airport for local employment, has already identified its town centre as a location for long-term residential developments. As such, the scale of change associated with development at the airport is unlikely to significantly increase housing pressures on the local authorities’ plans.
The need for additional housing provision to house the increase in residents in
the area around the airport will also need to be supported by the provision of
additional social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and leisure centres. The
Commission’s assessment suggests that provision of additional housing will need
to be supported by the provision of additional form entries in local schools and two
additional GPs per local authority to 2030.
Airports Commission document on Heathrow’s north west runway application (Nov 2014)
Extracts relating to homes:
The construction of a new north west runway at Heathrow would likely require the
loss of a number of homes and community facilities, with the villages of Sipson,
Longford and Harmondsworth particularly affected. This would require close
engagement with local communities to manage the impacts and identify appropriate
mitigations, as well as effective compensation mechanisms. The airport operator
has proposed a £550 million fund to pay for compensation to residents. For those
remaining, yet impacted by the airport, it proposes to pay for noise insulation.
Growth of jobs and businesses associated with the airport has the potential to put
pressure on housing in the local area. Table 2.10 below demonstrates the range in
the forecast of homes required as a result of airport expansion. Of the additional
employees the number seeking residences in the local area is assumed to be
consistent with the baseline, at 63%; a conservative assumption given the wider
catchment area enabled by the surface access improvements planned.
Table 2.10: Additional homes needed for Heathrow Airport North West Runway
2030 Low and high estimates
Additional homes (direct employees) low 11,000 … high 26,100
Additional homes (total employees) low 29,800 …. high 70,800
The additional housing at the upper end of this range – which equates to an
average of some 500 homes per year in each of 14 local authorities – may be
challenging to deliver, especially give that many local authorities struggle to meet
current housing targets. However, the rate of provision of additional housing is
not significantly out of line with many existing plans for the period to 2026 or with
the rate of growth envisaged in the London Plan, although some further increase
may be needed in some areas. In addition, the number of local authorities involved
would also allow some flexibility in how new housing may be delivered across
the area as a whole. It should also be noted that this is a worst case assessment
for the number of additional homes required and there are many reasons why
the additional housing required is unlikely to be as high as these figures. Different
assumptions around passenger demand, population growth, net migration, access
to employment for local people and commuting, for example, could all reduce the
housing growth requirements.
The central tenet of HAL’s proposed mitigation is compensation, with compensation
for lost homes being offered at 25% above un-blighted market value. For those
houses remaining, compensation would be provided in the form of noise insulation,
or HAL would provide support in relocating. The promoter also plans to extend
its current community investment programme and undertake re-provision of
community services such as Harmondsworth Community Hall and Primary School.
Details of housing for the Heathrow Hub option are at
GACC press release
2 September 2013
A new town the size of Crawley ?
30,000 – 45,000 new houses would be needed if a new runway is built at Gatwick. That is the conclusion of a study by independent consultants jointly commissioned by the West Sussex County Council and the Gatwick Diamond business association. The total number of houses in Crawley at present is around 40,000.
The study, carried out by Berkeley Hanover Consulting, predicts that the number of jobs created by a new runway plus the number of jobs created in firms attracted to the area by doubling the size of Gatwick would be far in excess of any available labour. It would require a substantial influx of workers from other parts of the UK or from the EU.
Much of Surrey is designated as Green Belt but this is already under threat where planning policies are under review. In Sussex, Crawley and Horsham are already having difficulty finding sites for a few thousand houses to meet current demand. Local councils would need to decide whether to build a whole new town or whether to add hundreds of new houses to every town and village – perhaps a thousand houses added to forty villages!
According to Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC: ‘This independent study, if correct, shows that a new runway would lead to widespread urbanisation, serious pressure on schools and hospitals, and the loss of much dearly-loved countryside. The more we find out, the more we doubt if the implications of the study were taken on board by Members of the West Sussex County Council before they took their surprise decision in July to support a new runway.’ (Details below).
Sewill added: ‘The Gatwick Diamond businessmen, who have been lobbying so hard to promote a new runway, also have some explaining to do. They sponsored this study so they can’t now disown it. Yet it shows that their dream of making Gatwick bigger than Heathrow could turn into a nightmare.
The study can be found on the WSCC website at Implications of changes to airport capacity – slides 2013 The housing figures are on page 17.