Spelthorne Borough Council welcomes Government go-ahead for Heathrow expansion
Heathrow expansion has moved one step closer with the parliamentary vote on the National Policy Statement (NPS) on 25 June, giving the go-ahead for a new north-west runway at Heathrow Airport.
Cllr Ian Harvey, Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council, said: “I welcome this news, which helps remove uncertainty for our residents and businesses and represents an important milestone in what has been a very long process to date.
I remain fully committed to realising the benefits that a new north-west runway at Heathrow will bring, in terms of economic growth, boosting jobs and skills, and improving local as well as national transport connectivity.
However we should not underestimate the task ahead of us. The real work starts now. Development in our Borough must be proportionate, appropriate, and bring long-term, sustainable benefits, such as the Southern Light Rail Scheme, to Spelthorne.
We must not end up the poor relation when it comes to airport-related infrastructure and development in our Borough. That is why the Council has set up a working group of officers, led by Cabinet Member Cllr John Boughtflower, to examine in detail all of the proposals as they emerge, to provide a structured and evidence-based analysis that we will use to work with Heathrow to get the best possible deal for the Borough and a positive legacy for our communities.
Neither do we think it is acceptable that Council Taxpayers foot the bill for this comprehensive piece of work. We will be looking for full recompense for work undertaken to test the assumptions and modelling put forward by Heathrow as the detailed plans emerge, including calling in technical expertise where necessary”.
Cllr John Boughtflower, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Heathrow expansion, said: “The Council’s support for Heathrow has always been heavily dependent on making sure that any negative effects are properly mitigated.
We are now going further: we intend to take every opportunity to ensure that Heathrow commit to the list of ten requirements recently put to them in our consultation response, which we think best protect the interests of the Borough’s residents, businesses and the local environment. In particular, we think that Heathrow must expand the “Wider Property Offer Zone” to our communities. We will also be making it clear to Heathrow that disproportionate and inappropriate development is not acceptable”.
Notes to editors:
Spelthorne’s list of ten requirements:
1. The Wider Property Offer Zone (WPOZ) to be expanded to cover the whole of Stanwell Moor and large parts of Stanwell
2. Parking controls to be put in place in Stanwell Moor and large parts of Stanwell and provide an on-airport taxi/private hire facility
3. HAL to provide an enhanced multi-purpose community hall for Stanwell Moor and Stanwell Village and a new leisure facility in the locality
4. No Immigration Removal Centres in the borough
5. Surface access/public transport measures including to support the light rail scheme being promoted by Spelthorne, new bus routes into Heathrow, support for Spelthorne to be included in Oyster Card zone 6, provide means to minimise vehicle movements, HAL to ensure site and traffic management during construction and cover the cost of any enforcement
6. Air quality must be no worse for residents than it is now but there should be measures to ensure continuous improvement
7. Noise experienced by residents must be no worse than it is now but there should be measures to ensure continuous improvement
8. No changes to the borough boundary
9. Night flights should be banned. Spelthorne supports reducing the number of people overflown by aircraft but more information is needed about what this means for residents
10. Staines Moor should remain undisturbed. Work to redirect the River Colne must not alter the flow or character of the river on the moor
Spelthorne Borough Council is part of the Heathrow Strategic Planning Group, which is a partnership of local authorities who surround the airport looking at the wider strategic local impact of expansion.
The aim of the internal working group is to ensure that airport-related development and infrastructure in Spelthorne is proportionate, appropriate and effectively planned so that benefits are realised and negative impacts on the Borough reduced, mitigated and managed during construction and operation.
Cleared for take-off: Parliament unlocks local jobs and growth in vote to expand Heathrow
In a landmark vote today, Parliament unambiguously backed expanding Heathrow – ending decades of political debate and local uncertainty over one of the UK’s most pressing infrastructure issues. Following years of close engagement and consultation with local communities to help shape plans for expansion, MPs from across political parties joined forces to support the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement. The vote clears the way for Heathrow to submit a planning application for the project – unlocking billions of pounds in growth, exporting opportunities and tens of thousands of new skilled jobs for local communities.
Today’s decision secures a £14bn private investment for the UK – one of the largest private projects in Europe – that will have major benefits for the local economy, stimulating growth and inward investment opportunities. Local businesses, particularly smaller to medium sized enterprises, are also set to benefit from up to 40 new long-haul trading links and double the cargo capacity at an expanded Heathrow.
Over the next 12 months alone, the airport will sign £150 million worth of contracts with British businesses, creating 900 new jobs and 200 new local apprenticeships. In his position as Chair of the Heathrow Skills Taskforce, Lord Blunkett will coordinate members to develop the talent needed today and arm a generation with the skills it needs for the future.
In addition to the tens of thousands of new jobs the project will create locally, Heathrow has taken steps to ensure expansion does not force a choice between the economy and the local environment. Heathrow has made binding commitments to deliver a £2.6bn compensation package to residents, implement a 6.5 hour ban on scheduled night flights and a triple lock guarantee to meet air quality obligations.
Parliament’s historic vote is the culmination of a rigorous, evidence-based analysis – including review by the independent Airports Commission and the Government. It has determined that expanding Heathrow offers the greatest benefit to all of the UK and can be done sustainably. Over the past six years, Heathrow has regularly consulted local communities to design an expansion plan that treats those that stand to be most impacted fairly. Heathrow will release detailed plans over the coming months to deliver a skills strategy so local residents can benefit from tens of thousands of new skilled jobs that an expanded Heathrow requires – an opportunity that has the potential to end youth unemployment in local boroughs.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:
“Parliament has ended 50 years of debate by deciding that Heathrow expansion will go ahead. This vote will see us deliver more jobs, create a lasting legacy of skills for future generations and guarantee expansion is delivered responsibility. We are grateful that MPs have made the right choice for Britain and today we start work to create the best connected hub airport in the world.”
The newly established Heathrow Community Engagement Board will play an important role in building and maintaining trust between the airport and its communities making sure that Heathrow delivers its commitments today and in the future. In particular, it will ensure that communities are meaningfully engaged in the process over the coming months and years.
Though driverless vehicles are expected to be commercially available in the next few years, the shift to their use is likely to occur gradually and in phases over several decades, panelists said at ULI’s Spring Meeting in Detroit.
That long process will allow vehicles to be tested and improved. It also will enable the development of urban infrastructure—such as smart roads and traffic management systems that communicate continuously with many vehicles at once—that would make them work better, panelists said. And just as important, gradual growth would enable wary members of the public to adjust to autonomous vehicles and accept their potential benefits.
Spelthorne Borough Council has made use of powers in the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations to recover a substantial outstanding debt from a developer following the implementation of a housing scheme in the borough.
Although the developer had been reluctant to settle the outstanding debt, the Council continued to pursue the matter and succeeded in securing full payment of the Levy which, with costs and late payment interest, amounted to more than £300,000.
Councillor Colin Barnard, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, said: “This is a positive result demonstrating that we are willing to take the necessary action to ensure that developers pay their CIL contribution towards infrastructure in the borough.”
CIL was implemented by the Council in 2015 and is a vital source of funding to support strategic infrastructure needs arising from new development. The funding can be used to pay for education facilities, specific highway improvements, on-site play equipment and site-specific flood mitigation measures.