Windsor councillor says there would be homes ‘turmoil’ if Heathrow is expanded
A Windsor councillor has said that creating up to 70,800 homes if Heathrow expansion plans go ahead would cause “absolute turmoil.” He said a 3rd runway north-west of the airport could create the need to use greenbelt land for housing. However, almost unbelievably, a Heathrow spokesman said: “There will be little or no need for additional house-building over and above current local authority plans.” The Airports Commission, said Heathrow expansion would create between 47,400 and 112,400 jobs by 2030, which in turn would require an extra 29,800 to 70,800 homes to be created in the surrounding area, including Windsor, Slough and London boroughs. There will be a public meeting in Windsor to discuss the Heathrow plans, before the consultation ends on 3rd February. Windsor already has an enormous housing problem in the area, and are having go consider building on green belt land (which is locally very unpopular), even with no new runway. And there is increasing urbanisation …”The impact will be felt across the Thames Valley – it’s commercial greed gone mad.”
Homes ‘turmoil’ if Heathrow expanded
Creating up to 70,800 homes if Heathrow expansion plans go ahead would cause “absolute turmoil”, a Windsor councillor has said.
Malcolm Beer made his comments ahead of a Windsor council aviation forum later.
He said a third runway north-west of the airport could create the need to use greenbelt land for housing.
A Heathrow spokesman said: “There will be little or no need for additional house-building over and above current local authority plans.”
‘Commercial greed gone mad’
The housing concern comes after a recent report by the Airport Commission, which stated the Heathrow expansion would create between 47,400 and 112,400 jobs by 2030, which in turn would require an extra 29,800 to 70,800 homes to be created in the surrounding area, including Windsor, Slough and London boroughs.
Mr Beer said “anxious” Windsor residents associations would be organising a public meeting in the next 10 days ahead of the commission’s public consultation deadline on 3 February.
Mr Beer, who is on the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Borough aviation forum committee, said: “We have an enormous housing problem in the area.
“We are having a real problem considering if we have to release greenbelt land for housing, which is an unpopular suggestion.
“Apart from the noise, the whole area will be urbanised – that’s what a lot of people don’t realise.
“The impact will be felt across the Thames Valley – it’s commercial greed gone mad.”
The borough council forum will present its own residents’ poll plans aftera Heathrow report stated most residents were in favour of expansion.
The Heathrow spokesman said the expansion plans would benefit 700,000 existing residents in the area “who are unemployed, under-employed or are commuting out of the area at present”.
The aviation forum takes place at 19:00 GMT at The Guildhall Chamber, Windsor.
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.
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