Free Enterprise Group of Tories now want not only a 3rd Heathrow runway, but a 4th too. By demolishing 4 villages.

This gets dottier by the day. The group of free enterprise advocate Tory MPs, called the Free Enterprise Group, is to publish a new report, which calls for …. wait for it …. not only a 3rd Heathrow runway, but also a 4th. Some members of the  Free Enterprise Group are close to George Osborne, with Sajid Javid MP one of his ministerial aides.  The Sunday Telegraph says the private sector has suggested that it would finance a third runway.  The Free Enterprise Group’s paper suggests a 3rd runway could be built to the south and west of the airport on the town of Bedfont and Stanwell, a town with a population of 12,000. It is striking that many of the Tory MPs proposing this have constituencies near here. One of their members, Kwasi Kwarteng, MP for Spelthorne, was good enough to comment that “it was vital that residents were compensated for the loss of their homes” and “Even if you gave every resident £500,000 it would still be cheaper than Boris Island.” Meanwhile, Heathrow continues to use its valuable slots for flights to leisure destinations.



Tories call for third and fourth runway at Heathrow

A group of influential Conservative MPs says that creating a new aviation hub in west London is the cheapest and fastest solution to an impending “capacity crunch” that threatens Britain’s economic future.

By , Deputy Political Editor (Telegraph)

7 Jul 2012

The plan would destroy thousands of homes and would break a pledge made in the Coalition agreement, which ruled out a third runway at Heathrow.

It would also fly in the face of London Mayor Boris Johnson’s vision of an airport in the Thames estuary and calls by Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, to expand Birmingham airport.

The future of Britain’s airports is a source of growing tension within the Coalition. There is speculation in Westminster that the Conservatives may eventually be forced to reverse their decision to block a third Heathrow runway.

Building two new runways at the west London airport is one of seven policies to boost economic growth that will be unveiled in a report tomorrow by the Free Enterprise Group,  a panel of 39 Conservative MPs [with a very alarming free enterprise philosophy], many of whom are close to George Osborne, the Chancellor.

Members of the group include Sajid Javid,  [MP for Bromsgrove – and see note below] one of Mr Osborne’s ministerial aides, and Matthew Hancock, the West Suffolk MP and the Chancellor’s former chief of staff.  Andrew Tyrie MP, the chairman of the Commons Treasury committee who will lead the parliamentary inquiry into the Libor scandal, and Elizabeth Truss MP, an influential Conservative thinker, [and Convenor of the Free Enterprise Group] are also members.

Kwasi Kwarteng, MP for Spelthorne and one of the report’s authors, said: “Building two new runways at Heathrow is the most practical, most cost-efficient and fastest solution. This option would allow Britain to rapidly build on its strengths, rather than take a risk of a completely new airport.” Mr Kwarteng said neither the Thames estuary airport — dubbed “Boris Island” — nor expanding Birmingham airport were practical. “Building new runways at Heathrow would take about a third of the time as Boris Island and cost far less,” he said.

The private sector has suggested that it would finance a third runway, previously planned between the existing airport and the M4, and the Prime Minister and Mr Osborne are said to be seriously considering reviving plans to expand Heathrow.

Heathrow regularly runs at 99 per cent capacity, with London’s other airports nearly as congested. There are widespread fears that London’s position as one of the world’s economic hubs will suffer unless air capacity is expanded.

Experts believe turning Mr Johnson’s vision of an airport in the Thames estuary into a reality would cost up to £70 billion. However, the price of building a third runway and a sixth terminal at Heathrow is estimated at around £9 billion. The Free Enterprise Group’s paper suggests a third Heathrow runway could be built to the south and west of the airport on the town of Bedfont and Stanwell, a town with a population of 12,000.

Gareth Coates, a marketing manager whose home would be under threat said: “Even though Heathrow is a major employer, there would be heavy opposition. It is striking that none of the Tory MPs proposing this have constituencies near here.”

Mr Kwarteng said it was vital that residents were compensated for the loss of their homes. He said: “Even if you gave every resident £500,000 it would still be cheaper than Boris Island.”



Andrew Tyrie MP, Voted moderately against laws to stop climate change.  Link to his page on “They Work For You”.



There is some crass hypocrisy on Sajid Javid’s website, where it says:,

“I BELIEVE that we have a duty to protect our environment. Government has a role to play in helping people live sustainably – but its most powerful function can be to unlock the possibilities for people themselves to take action because they want to, and because it is in their interest to do so.  I want to preserve our greenbelt, open spaces and the character of our historic towns and villages.  I want to see and end to top down planning decisions.

“As Britain replaces its old coal fired power stations, I support the increased use of nuclear power and renewable forms of energy production. I also want to see us reduce our dependence on energy imports from unfriendly regimes. “



Details of the last Free Enterprise Group report on Heathrow expansion, in January 2012, at


Just in case anyone has never looked at the geography around Heathrow, or has forgotten that it is a densely used and densely populated area, below is a map. There is nowhere to put a fourth runway, even if a third could be crammed in at Sipson.



And the Observer also reports this:

Tory MPs press George Osborne to build more runways at Heathrow

Sajid Javid, Osborne’s parliamentary private secretary, is backing the Free Enterprise Group seeking extra runways

Key allies of George Osborne will on Monday call for a doubling of the number of runways at Heathrow airport to avoid London losing its status as a world business hub.

Amid signs that the chancellor is pressing David Cameron to drop the Tories’ opposition to a third runway at Heathrow, Osborne’s parliamentary aide and other close colleagues are to demand a major expansion of the airport.

Sajid Javid, the chancellor’s parliamentary private secretary, and Matt Hancock, his former chief of staff, are among four Osborne allies to support a call by the Free Enterprise Group of Tory MPs for a third and fourth runway to be built at Heathrow.

The report says: “The government should grant planning permission for both a third and fourth runway at Heathrow. Britain’s hub airport, Heathrow is currently at 99% capacity, and London’s other airports are nearly as full.

“Demand is predicted to double over the next few decades. If new aviation capacity is not found, London’s position as a world business hub will be damaged. Heathrow is almost unique among major world airports in only having two runways, with no plans for further construction.”

The decision of Hancock to support the call is particularly significant. The MP for West Suffolk was Obsorne’s chief of staff before the last election when the Tories rejected a third runway at Heathrow and endorsed a high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham initially, later to northern England.

The party argued that the new rail line would obviate the need for a third runway by reducing the number of flights to the north of England and Scotland, thereby freeing up capacity at the airport.

Osborne is understood to be coming round to the idea that dramatic steps need to be taken to improve airport capacity in the south-east. At the same time, the chancellor is understood to believe that the delicate state of the public finances raises questions about the proposed high-speed rail line.

Justine Greening, the transport secretary, who is a strong opponent of a third runway at Heathrow as MP for the nearby seat of Putney, is due to publish a paper on air capacity in the south-east of England. Relations between Greening and the chancellor are said to have chilled in recent months.

The chancellor may be attracted by the idea of a third runway because the extra runways would be built largely from private funds.

The report, which is also signed by Osborne’s allies Jesse Norman and Nadhim Zahawi, says: “No option for aviation expansion is perfect, but this option would allow Britain to rapidly build on its strengths, rather than take the speculative risk of a completely new facility. BAA would have the option either to build both runways simultaneously, if this proved cost efficient, or to stagger the construction. This would both give the industry more strategic certainty about its future, and be more honest with locals about what to expect.”



Free Enterprise Group of MPs Propose to Demolish East Bedfont and Stanwell to build 4th Heathrow Runway

JUL 8 2012

Posted by 

Kwasi Kwarteng is going to learn a swift lesson – you dont stay a prospect for promotion by proposing to demolish four villages.  A hub 4 runways airport would require demolition of four villages – Sipson, Harlington and Harmonsworth (the short runway would require deomiltion of Sipson and part demolition of Harmondsworth) and to the South the far larger villages of Stanwell and possibly East Bedfont.  In another Osbornite Omninshambles they wont be able to put this off until after the next election, the blight and mass protest will force that, humiliating Osborne.     Link to blog …



Comments from AirportWatch members:

The silly season has definitely begun.

The irony is that a 4th runway would likely to be south of the airport, straight through Kwasi Kwarteng’s, constituency. As the Deputy Editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Iain Martin, tweeted this morning: “Has he ever looked at a map?”
Absolutely mental – how can you reason with people who are so out of touch that this could seem possible?
Where are they going to get the money to pay for any of these “blue sky” ideas?
I see both Justine Greening and Willie walsh favour a new hub without saying where it would be situated.
The Tory calls for building of a third and fourth runway at Heathrow would mean the biggest destruction of people homes since the Blitz.

See earlier this year:

Conservative MPs urge rethink on Heathrow 3rd runway and improved links with emerging economies

20.1.2012A group of 30 Conservative MPs, calling themselves the “Free Enterprise Group” have produced a report, which attempts to make the case for a 3rd Heathrow runway, and for new runways at Gatwick or Stansted.  It presents no new research, and ignores the environmental impacts of their proposals, giving no thought to climate change, and very vague suggestions of payments of up to £40,000 per household near Heathrow as compensation.  It makes out that Heathrow cannot produce enough flights to China. In practice, there were 606,800 passengers travelling between China and Heathrow in 2010, with another 1,386,770 travelling to Hong Kong. Heathrow flew 954,000 people to Miami last year (2011), compared to 311,000 to Beijing and 352,000 to Shanghai.  It seems beach holidays are a greater priority to airlines than Chinese business.