Heathrow plans for 25,000-space car park near Stanwell ‘wholly disproportionate’, says Spelthorne council leader
Spelthorne Borough Council has expressed concerns at proposals (not yet firm plans) that could see “the world’s largest car park,” with 25,000 spaces, built on the doorstep of one of its villages. The Council has, however, always backed the 3rd runway plans – but now perhaps they are waking up to its local impacts. The car park could be build just north west of Stanwell village, and would generate alarming levels of traffic impact (rat-running, noise and air pollution) across the borough and specifically for Stanwell’s local population. Heathrow currently has no car parking spaces in Spelthorne borough, but if there is ever a 3rd runway, the demand for car parking would require more places. [Strange that, as Heathrow says there will be NO more road journeys with a 3 runway airport than now with two. So why are 25,000 more car parking spaces needed?]… In a NIMBY manner, Spelthorne wants the carpark to be built at “sustainable transport interchanges” situated near motorways and as far away from built up neighbourhoods as possible. ie. just not near their residents (and remember, the council backs the 3rd runway ….). Plans for the carpark would be part of the Development Consent Order (DCO) that Heathrow has to have passed, rather than a conventional planning application that would be the case for a small development.
Heathrow plans for 25,000-space car park near Stanwell ‘wholly disproportionate’, says council leader
Spelthorne Borough Council has expressed concerns that a new car park for the airport could be built in Stanwell
By Matthew Lodge (Get Surrey)
25 JULY 2018
A council has expressed concerns at proposals that could see “the world’s largest car park” built on the doorstep of one of its villages.
However, it has said it is concerned about proposals put forward by the airport that suggest a car park with 25,000 spaces could be built next to Stanwell village.
Heathrow currently has no car parking spaces in the borough, but the construction of a third runway could change that as it would run over some of the car parks currently in use and these would need replacing.
SBC says that if any new parking needs to be built, it should be done so at “sustainable transport interchanges” situated near motorways and as far away from built up neighbourhoods as possible.
Under proposals laid out by the airport in January, a car park with capacity for 25,000 cars could be built to the north-west of Stanwell village.
This proposal, which is not a firm plan, has been given a frosty reception by the council, which thinks the focus should be on providing public transport to the airport from what it calls “sustainable transport interchanges”.
Before any building works can go ahead, the airport must apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) which will then be considered by a planning inspectorate before being passed forward to the secretary of state for transport.
Councillor Ian Harvey, leader of the council, said: “The Development Consent Order should not gift Heathrow further control to create the world’s largest car park in Stanwell village.
“That would be wholly disproportionate and would generate alarming levels of traffic impact (rat-running, noise and air pollution) across the borough and specifically for Stanwell’s local population.”
The council wants the existing cap on parking spaces, which stands at 42,000 for both the public and staff at the airport, to remain in place.
Proposals set out by Heathrow suggest one of the car parks could be built in Stanwell (Image: Heathrow Airport Limited)
Cllr John Boughtflower, chair of Spelthorne’s Heathrow working group, said: “We don’t believe that new parking provision should come at the cost of our communities’ health and well-being. We strongly urge Heathrow to reconsider their plans.”
Heathrow says it will be providing a similar amount of parking spaces after expansion to what it currently provides, but that any DCO application would require them to assess the impact of its proposals on traffic.
A spokesman for Heathrow said: “Following consultation this year we are developing our preferred masterplan which incorporates the feedback from local communities and local authorities on car parking sites.
“Heathrow has committed to expanding with no more airport related road traffic than today. Improvements in public transport in all directions will increase the proportion of sustainable journeys made to the airport, reducing the need for additional car parking spaces.
“We do not believe any of our options are disproportionate to our commitment in ensuring we expand Heathrow in the most sustainable and responsible way.”
As the old saying goes “Be careful what you wish for….” Spelthorne should have thought ahead … and not considered themselves immune to the negative impacts, to be suffered by all areas near – or affected by – Heathrow.