Heathrow to cost 70 social homes

16.1.2009   (Inside Housing)

by Clara Story

The expansion of Heathrow Airport will mean 70 council homes will be demolished
and many more affected by noise and disruption.

Hillingdon Council confirmed that about one in ten of the 700 homes earmarked
to be bulldozed in Sipson and Harmondsworth will be social housing, run by arm’s-length
management organisation Hillingdon Homes.

The council said it was ‘absolutely opposed’ to the expansion, which was given
the go-ahead in principle by the government yesterday.

‘This proposed expansion will lead to the destruction of homes, detrimental air
quality, increased traffic congestion and noise pollution,’ leader of the council
Ray Puddifoot said.

‘The impacts on communities across London and in Hillingdon will be immense.
How the government can ignore the overwhelming opposition to these plans is staggering.’

The council said it was prepared for increased demand for social housing and
temporary housing from those to be displaced by the building of the third runway
– as well as the disruption of moving the local primary school.

Airport operator BAA’s chief executive, Colin Matthews, said the expansion was
crucial to making sure the UK had the connections to the world ‘on which our prosperity

‘We are also fully aware that today’s decision will be a difficult one for many,
particularly those residents who will be directly affected by it,’ he said.

Geraldine Nicholson, local resident and chair of pressure group No Third Runway
Action Group, vowed to fight on.

‘The government has not listened to the views of the people, once again it is
siding with big business,’ she said.

‘Our support has come from all quarters and continues to grow every day. This
decision will only intensify the determination of the opposition to expansion
at Heathrow.’