Construction firms – wanting the lucrative work – urge George Osborne to support third Heathrow runway
Thirteen of Britain’s largest construction and development firms (including the bosses of Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall, Laing O’Rourke, Mace,Atkins UK, and BAM Nuttall), have written to George Osborne, urging him to live up to his declaration that “we are the builders” by supporting the building of a third runway at Heathrow. As one comment under the article puts it: “Construction companies advocating a big construction project. Whatever next?…..” The letter to the Chancellor says Heathrow has provided a “steady base of work” during the economic downturn and expansion would bring “a £15.6 billion order book to the UK supply chain”. They also try to encourage the Chancellor by saying the OECD considers the UK has historically underspent on infrastructure, partially due to “long decision-making processes”. The construction companies, which of course stand to gain massively from the building project, say: “We are writing to encourage your support for Heathrow expansion.” It has been pointed out that you only have permanent jobs in construction if there is a new project to move on to, once one is complete.. Hence the construction firms are lobbying hard; they have expected work out of Heathrow, and may not have contingency should Heathrow not get the go head. The firms appear – conveniently – unaware of the very considerable economic and environmental problems that building a runway would create.
Construction firms urge George Osborne to support third Heathrow runway
Thirteen of Britain’s largest construction and development firms have written to George Osborne urging him to live up to his declaration that “we are the builders” by supporting the building of a third runway at Heathrow.
The letter to the Chancellor stated that the west London airport has provided a “steady base of work” during the economic downturn and expansion would bring “a £15.6 billion order book to the UK supply chain”.
It also noted last year’s report by respected international economic thinktank the OECD which found that the UK has historically underspent on infrastructure, partially due to “long decision-making processes”.
The signatories, including the bosses of Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall, Laing O’Rourke and BAM Nuttall, wrote: “At the Conservative conference in 2015 you announced ‘we are the builders’.
“We congratulate you on your vision to build the important infrastructure the country needs and make the hard decisions. We represent some of the largest developers and construction companies in the UK. We applaud your ambition and stand ready to help you deliver it.
“We are writing to encourage your support for Heathrow expansion.”
They added: “Let us help you build a better Britain by expanding Heathrow.”
The Davies Commission recommended last July that a third runway should be built at Heathrow, at a cost of £18.6 billion.
But in December ministers postponed a final decision until at least the summer pending new analysis of the environmental impacts.
Other shortlisted options are extension of the existing northern runway at Heathrow – costing £13.5 billion – or building a second runway at Gatwick, which would cost £9.3 billion.
Signatories of the letter:
- Nick Roberts, Chief Executive Officer UK & Europe, Atkins
- Leo Quinn, Group Chief Executive, Balfour Beatty
- Stephen Fox CBE, Chief Executive, BAM Nuttall Ltd
- Alasdair Reisner, Chief Executive, Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA)
- Mario Mostoles, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Ferrovial Agroman
- Toby Courtauld, Chief Executive, Great Portland Estates plc
- Ray O’Rourke KBE, Chairman and Group Chief Executive, Laing O’Rourke Plc
- Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive, Mace
- Nick Fletcher, Managing Director Infrastructure, Morgan Sindall
- Keith Howells, Chairman, Mott MacDonald
- David Sleath, Chief Executive, SEGRO
- Vincent Clancy, Chief Executive Officer, Turner & Townsend
- Mark Dobson, Chief Executive, Wilson James Ltd
Construction firms urge Government to build Heathrow runway
The bosses of some of Britain’s biggest building companies have written to the Chancellor to call for Heathrow expansion
The construction firms that stand to secure billions of pounds of building work from a third Heathrow runway are lobbying the Government to clear controversial plans to expand the airport.
The bosses of some of Britain’s biggest building and engineering consultancy companies, including Laing O’Rourke’s founder Ray O’Rourke, Balfour Beatty’s chief Leo Quinn, and Mark Reynolds of Mace, have written to George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, urging him to back the west London airport’s growth plans.
“Projects such as Heathrow expansion allow companies like ours to continue to invest in tens of thousands of skilled jobs this country badly needs and new construction techniques that will benefit developers in the UK,” they said in their letter.
The signatories, who also included Nick Roberts , chief executive of Atkins UK and Europe, and Stephen Fox, chief executive of BAM Nuttall, told the Chancellor that Heathrow was one of the country’s most important developers and has invested £11bn in the past decade. Building a third runway would “bring with it a £15.6bn order book to the UK supply chain,” they said.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, angered businesses across the country when he failed to keep his promise to decide by the end of 2015 whether or not to allow Heathrow to grow.
The airport is operating at almost maximum capacity and many companies want to see it expanded to help boost British firms’ connections to fast-growing emerging markets.
Last July, Sir Howard Davies, the chairman of the Government-appointed Airports Commission, recommended that another runway be built in west London. However, a third runway at Heathrow is a highly divisive issueamong MPs, and in December ministers said they wanted to carry out more research on the environmental impact of expansion before making a decision.
The recent Volkswagen emissions scandal in particular has heightened Government concerns about the air pollution another runway might cause.
However, the construction chiefs used their letter to remind Mr Osborne that in October he had told the Conservative Party conference that “we are the builders.” They said they “stand ready” to help deliver infrastructure projects including Heathrow.
Below are some of the comments under the article:
Nothing but special pleading – they see a gravy train in the offing. I read a few days ago in the DT that construction firms cannot recruit enough sufficient workers to build the houses we need. The last thing we need is a runway in the wrong place to provide CEOs with even greater unjustified bonuses.
The exclusive SE focus went nowhere in 2003, or 2009 or 2012 or 2015 and now going nowhere in 2016. Long term `government` policy is to do nothing but to look busy doing nothing, except that is to block any non SE option even for proper exploration. . `Heathrow or nothing` used as a ramrod – but it is not working. Putting all eggs in one lobbyist un-deliverable basket for the next 15 years (at best) is unforgivable.
The Airports Commission knew from the start taxpayers funding for SE expansion surface access wasn`t on – policy states airports expansion must meet all environmental and associated surface access costs. The taxpayer cannot be expected to hand over billions to one operator, and it should be no surprise this gambit has stalled. Everyone is blamed bar those constant in this 50 year fracas.
This exclusive SE focus has long been an expensive waste of time and a squandering of major national opportunities. A new truly independent Commission, -completely devoid of dft influence, – is the only way forward for the UK and, dare I say for the long term well-being for all the SE Airports as well.
You only have permanent jobs in construction if there is a new project to move on to. Hence why the construction firms are up in arms and lobbying like crazy; they have no contingency should Heathrow not get the go head.
Heathrow have made it clear that loads of taxpayer money will be needed to improve access and infrastructure at Heathrow, and to ensure that their profits continue to grow. Perhaps the Government could consider developing regional airports like Manchester and Birmingham so reducing demand at Heathrow. Now I know it goes against the mantra ‘London is all that matters’, but the last thing we need is more money spent sucking wealth into London at the expense of the rest of the country.
Construction industry (massive potential beneficiary) in shock call for more (partly state-funded) sector activity. TBH [To be honest] I’m not convinced this could qualify as being a story.
Surely not!!! Construction companies advocating a big construction project. Whatever next?…..
For the Heathrow expansion private money is being used (i.e. the owners of Heathrow would pay). They are just waiting for the green light from politicians (who for nearly 20 years have been too worried about local public opinion (where ever they agree to expand) to make a decision. I suspect regional airports would likely need taxpayer money though as the risks for private owners would be too high.
Private money would be used for expansion, though the majority of the TfL estimated £20 billion infrastructure cost requirements would be borne by the taxpayer. Don’t for a minute think Heathrow will pay their fair share http://www.standard.co.uk/news… meaning us taxpayers would in effect be subsidising a predominantly foreign-owned, little/no tax-paying entity. The equivalent money could be used to build a brand new state-owned Hub in the centre of the UK, accessible to all, and HS rail to/through it to all 4 corners of the UK
Virtually no one wants a “brand new state-owned Hub in the centre of the UK, accessible to all, and HS rail to/through it to all 4 corners of the UK”!