The information below has been gleaned from Slough’s draft response to the Airports Commission due to be finalised by Cabinet tonight.
Slough Borough Council expects to be compensated for loss of revenue as a result of the following impacts of airport expansion:
- Loss of council tax from residential properties lost to the airport
- Loss of business rates from commercial land lost to the airport
- Loss of business rates from the Colnbrook incinerator (additional pressures on Council if the incinerator is rebuilt outside of the borough)
- Compensation if the borough cedes land to Hillingdon
The town would also demand that Heathrow pay to migitate specific impacts of expansion, including:
- Insulation of public buildings, especially schools throughout the whole of Slough.
- Fixed noise monitoring stations will also need to be expanded to cover affected areas of Slough and the cost of operation needs to be covered by the airport operator.
- Replacement of the Grundon incinerator at no cost to the authority, and with no break in service.
It also expects Heathrow expansion to fund the following existing plans and projects already announced or under way:
- Extension of the Slough Mass Rapid Transit (SMART) bus system from Brands Hill to Heathrow. Previously this was to be funded by the SIFE development, and is currently on hold indefinitely due to lack of cash. But the council now sees this as “an essential element of the Heathrow promoters’ surface access packages”.
- Extension of the Slough bike hire scheme to Colnbrook and Poyle (promised anyway for this year).
- Air quality monitoring at Brands Hill. Slough would expect Heathrow to contribute towards the cost of monitoring and validation, as the “very poor air quality” around M4 junction 5/Brands Hill can be attributed to airport traffic including freight both directly and indirectly related to airport operations.
And it says Heathrow should also be expected to pay for three massive extensions of public transport not just for communities adjacent to Heathrow but throughout the entire borough:
- To encourage those accessing Heathrow from the west to use public transport, the existing free travel zone should be expanded to Slough for residents and Heathrow employees, and should be expanded to include the Transport for London 81 service.
- The Council’s Western Rail Access to Heathrow (WRAtH) should replace the proposed Heathrow Hub station and be funded as part of expansion. The project has been floundering without funding.
- Extra bus services to connect the airport from communities to the west including Slough. The Council points out that existing services are already subsidised by Heathrow, Slough, and Windsor & Maidenhead councils and has called for a review.