Tory plan to scrap new runways at Heathrow and Stansted could cost billions
â€¢ Labour faces battle over Heathrow and Stansted
expansion of Heathrow and Stansted airports, which could leave taxpayers liable
for multibillion-pound compensation payments to the contractors and airport group
putting together a “complete package” of
has learned that a Conservative government would use the government’s new legislative
powers to block extra runways at Heathrow and Stansted.
by thousands of local residents, environmental campaigners and a cross-party coalition
of MPs concerned that it runs counter to climate change commitments and will make
it impossible for the UK to reach the target of an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide
emissions by 2050.
environmental impact. The government is now working on a package of measures
described by one aide as “wider than those discussed so far”.
was being given high priority for government spending. On Wednesday the transport
secretary, Geoff Hoon, met the prime minister to update him on progress but yesterday
a government source insisted no decision had been taken.
are considering at least three options if they win the next general election:
2011, six months after the last possible date Gordon Brown can hold a general
ruling out a new runway.
Planning Commission (IPC), a body created under the 2008 Planning Act to fast-track
projects of national importance.
will carry enhanced importance when the commission considers whether to approve
schemes such as new runways.
who want to stop these runways going ahead have a clear choice at the general
election. If they don’t want these runways, they should vote Conservative.”
to build a second runway at Stansted, the UK’s third largest airport, could cost
taxpayers billions of pounds in compensation.
who have signed deals but not started heavy construction work. Villiers has warned
companies not to sign contracts but a government’s power to stop them striking
deals will diminish once planning permission is granted.
the last big infrastructure proposal to be heard under the 1990 Town and Country
will not be able to repeal a positive verdict without paying off contractors and
BAA, Stansted’s owner, for loss of earnings.
because BAA, having won the legal right to develop its land, could sue for the
profits it expected to make from a second runway. “It is a property right that
has been granted, so you have to pay compensation if you revoke the planning permission.”
in order to revoke planning permission for Stansted, amid doubts that the 1990
act allows ministers to scrap a planning application approved by a previous government.
It is understood that the Tories harbour private fears that a general election
victory might come too late to block a second runway, despite assertions from
Villiers yesterday that an election will come before the Stansted inquiry ends.