Hounslow Council leader says 9,000-home “Garden City” could happen even without Heathrow runway
The Leader of Hounslow City Council says a 9,000-home garden city could happen even without another Heathrow runway. He said a new Heathrow ‘Garden City’ in Hounslow is not dependant on a 3rd runway, and Hounslow Council remains opposed to the airport’s expansion, with its official line being that it wants “a better not bigger Heathrow.” There are fears, however, in some quarters that if a runway was approved, Hounslow (Labour led – since May 2014 Labour 49 seats, Conservative 11 seats) would support it and aim to obtain the maximum possible benefits. Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye has implied that Heathrow would develop the “garden city” or at least be its cause – regenerating area of West London. Hounslow Council has been working with Heathrow on proposals for the new development, though details of where it might be built have yet to be released and council leader Steve Curran said it was “very early days”. Hounslow Council has to build 3,000 new affordable homes in the borough by 2018. That’s before a new runway increases housing demand. Hounslow says the scheme is critically dependant on better public transport infrastructure.
Heathrow garden city ‘could be built without third runway’
By Robert Cumber (Get West London)
Hounslow Council leader says 9,000-home garden city could happen even without expansion at the airport
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye this week claimed expansion could pave the way for regeneration around the airport, including the creation of a garden city with 9,000 new homes in Hounslow.
Addressing the Runways UK conference on Monday (July 6), he said: “West London needs regeneration just as much as east London – our neighbours in Southall and Feltham are aspirational and want a better life for themselves and their children.
“Expansion will support the regeneration of west London, and tomorrow you will see an example, with the new Heathrow Garden City in Hounslow, including 9,000 new homes.”
Hounslow Council has been working with Heathrow on proposals for the new development, though details of where it might be built have yet to be released and council leader Steve Curran said it was “very early days”.
The Airports Commission last week recommended a third runway at Heathrow as the best option to increase the UK’s aviation capacity.
However, the Government, which must make the final decision, has yet to respond to the commission’s report, and several senior Conservative MPs are opposed to expansion of Heathrow.
Hounslow Council also remains opposed to the airport’s expansion, with its official line being that it wants “a better not bigger Heathrow”.
But the pair’s previously frosty relationship has thawed in recent years and the promise of 9,000 new homes would help the Labour administration fulfil its pledge to secure 3,000 new affordable homes in the borough by 2018.
Mr Curran said: “The [garden city] plan is extremely conceptual at this stage and includes ideas for better transport links to the airport, as well as significant new commercial and residential development that could be facilitated by this infrastructure. It would bring massive regeneration benefits to the west of the borough.
“It is not dependant on a third runway, and could work with the existing set up or with three runways. However, it is critically dependant on better public transport infrastructure.
“Heathrow and Hounslow Council are both supportive of the Southern Rail Access and this new infrastructure needs to be on an alignment that connects Heathrow with Feltham andBedfont Lakes with two new stations that allows increased development density.”
He added that the next step would be to work with residents, stakeholders, neighbours and the Greater London Authority on the ideas within its “masterplan”.
He said Heathrow would start working to secure planning consent, “continue to engage” with local communities and take “practical steps” like starting traffic surveys over the summer.
He also unveiled the airport’s new blueprint to increase public transport by more than 10% over the next four years, which includes pushing for a western rail link to the airport and a 24-hour tube and bus service between Heathrow and central London.
He said when the third runway opens in 2025, Heathrow would be served by five railways and five motorways and would have the country’s biggest bus and coach station.
Heathrow hopes to make a monster 3-runway airport acceptable by building a 9,000 home “garden city”
At the RunwaysUK conference, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye spoke of his plans to create a 3-runway “aerotropolis” around the airport, with a 9,000-home Heathrow Garden City. He said: “When you are relocating hotels and offices, why not put them next to the rail interchange, so that we can have fewer cars on the road — an aerotropolis, if you like …. If you are re-landscaping the airport boundary, why not link up the open spaces to create a green ribbon round the airport, with better local amenities …. and …. improve local flood defences? Why not improve the local road network and cycle paths?” He said west London needs regeneration just as much as east London, and the airport would do that. The development is understood to be planned for the Hounslow area. Heathrow hopes to get public transport up by over 10% in 4 years, to try and get the air pollution problem down low enough to be allowed a runway. And then: “We should get shovels in the ground by 2020 and the benefits of an expanded Heathrow in 2025.” Work was starting on gaining the planning consents needed for the development. Holland-Kaye said the airport may not agree to all the conditions for expansion proposed by the Airports Commission, but believes “an agreement could be struck on them.”