5 issues surrounding the expansion of Heathrow the Staines area still doesn’t have answers to
A local newspaper in the Staines area has set out 5 key areas on which there are no assurances that Heathrow expansion will not be bad for their area. Areas like Stanwell Moor and Stanwell would be seriously affected by the addition of a 3rd runway, and they are angry and frustrated at the lack of clarity on exactly what expansion will mean for them. One issue is the WPOZ (Wider Property Offer Zone) where people have the opportunity to sell their homes to Heathrow for 125% their market value. Heathrow has remained tight lipped about the possible inclusion of the villages in the WPOZ, but has insisted all options remain on the table. On air and noise pollution, there is no clarity at all, and Heathrow continues (unsuccessfully) to try to give the impression there would be no increase to current amounts. On the Immigration Centre, the existing one in Harmondsworth would have to be demolished, but there is no indication where it might be relocated. Spelthorne Borough Council has insisted it is not built in the borough. There are also huge problems with the M25 and protection of the valuable Staines Moor SSSI area, which is home to endangered species of birds, and the possible diversion of the River Colne, which runs through the moor. Local MP Kwasi Kwateng, and Spelthorne Council still, despite all the negative impacts, back the runway …
5 issues surrounding the expansion of Heathrow Airport we still don’t have the answers to
The expansion was given the go-ahead by MPs in June, but there are several questions which remain unanswered
By Matthew Lodge (Surrey Live)
13 JUL 2018
The expansion of Heathrow Airport took another step forward last month when MPs voted to approve the National Policy Statement on Airports (NPS).
The policy, which was approved by 415 votes to 119, essentially gives parliamentary backing to the expansion of the airport. Before the full go-ahead is given though, the airport will have to submit concrete plans for what it wants to build and how it wants to build it.
As of now, however, beyond a proposed third runway to the north-west of the airport, specific details about the expansion are scarce.
This has left some residents in areas such as Stanwell Moor and Stanwell, which would be affected by the airport’s development, frustrated at the lack of clarity on exactly what expansion will mean for them.
We have looked at five of the main issues surrounding the expansion which residents still do not have clear answers to.
Residents in Stanwell Moor and Stanwell have been vocal about their desire to be included in the airport’s Wider Property Offer Zone (WPOZ).
Being included in this would mean residents have the opportunity to sell their homes to the airport for 125% their market value or to stay put.
This campaign has received the backing of Spelthorne MP Kwasi Kwarteng and Spelthorne Borough Council (SBC), which has issued its own set of demands of the airport.
Heathrow has remained tight lipped about the possible inclusion of the villages in the WPOZ, but has insisted all options remain on the table.
One of the main concerns of environmentalists is the effect expansion could have on different types of pollution in the area surrounding the airport.
A new runway would allow an increase in the number of flights going to and from the airport, and this could have a negative impact on the amount of air and noise pollution around the site.
In March, the Commons’ Transport Select Committee raised concerns about how air and noise pollution would be measured at the expanded airport and how it would ensure these would remain in agreed-upon limits.
Heathrow, for its part, insists the expansion can be done without any increase to current amounts of air and noise pollution.
3. Immigration Centre
The current immigration removal centre in Harmondsworth could be demolished to make way for the new north-west runway, but the question of where its replacement will be located is yet to be answered.
There has been some suggestion the replacement centre could be built to the north of Stanwell Moor in an area which has been earmarked for buildings needed for the the infrastructure of the airport.
As detailed plans for what Heathrow would like to see built in this area have not been drawn up yet, we don’t know if the airport plans to move the immigration centre into Spelthorne.
SBC has insisted, however, that its backing of the airport’s expansion is contingent on no immigration removal centre being built inside the borough.
Huge changes could be made between Junctions 14 and 15 of the M25, as current proposals indicate Heathrow’s preferred scheme is to build the north-west runway over an area where the motorway is now.
The exact shape of these changes to the M25 has not been laid out, but it has been proposed that the carriageway to the north of J14 is moved 150 metres to the west and lowered into a tunnel so it can go under the new runway.
It has been suggested that a series of flyovers could be built from J14 to the airport to limit the loss of the northern and western perimeter roads which would be demolished as part of the expansion.
It is unclear though, how these changes will impact commuters and residents who live nearby, particularly people living in Stanwell Moor which is currently serviced by roads linking to J14 and the western perimeter road.
5. Staines Moor
There are concerns about what expansion could mean for Staines Moor, which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The moor is home to several species of rare plants, while four species of threatened birds currently breed in the area – the cuckoo, skylark, song thrush and linnet.
The protection of the moor has been a key concern for environmentalists, who fear the impact a third runway and the construction of airport-related buildings to the south-west of the airport could have.
In particular, the possible diversion of the River Colne, which runs through the moor, has raised questions about how development could impact the SSSI.
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