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02/02/2017

Draft national policy statement for Heathrow expansion published

Words: Laura Edgar
Heathrow airport / Shutterstock_274027481

The government has published a draft Airports National Policy Statement for the expansion of Heathrow Airport, which has gone out to consultation across the UK.

Although the policy statement only applies to England, the government said the national significance of third runway at Heathrow meant the consultation was open to everyone in the UK, including those who may benefit from the expansion and those directly affected by it.

It also said the planning policy proposals will ensure that Britain “seizes the opportunity to forge a new role in the world after Brexit, supported by the right infrastructure”.

The government estimates that there will be a £61 billion boost to the UK economy over 60 years as a result of building third runway.

The Planner reported last October on the government‘s announcement of its support for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. This followed a recommendation in 2015 by the Airports Commission that expanding Heathrow, rather than Gatwick Airport, was the best option.

Airports National Policy Statement: new runway capacity and infrastructure at airports in the south-east of England sets out the planning policy an applicant for a new north-west runway would have to comply with to get development consent.

In addition, it notes the need for additional airport capacity in the South-East and why the government’s preferred option is a north-west runway at Heathrow.

The statement says the government affords weight to a number of attributes the airport has, including that it is “better connected to the rest of the UK by road and rail”.


Measures laid out in the statement that Heathrow Airport will have to comply with include:

•    Demonstrating it has worked with other airlines on domestic connectivity. The government expect Heathrow to run six more domestic routes by 2030 – Belfast International, Liverpool, Newquay, Humberside, Prestwick and Durham Tees Valley.
•    Honouring its commitment of paying homeowners 25 per cent above market value rate plus costs for the compulsory purchase of their homes if needed to make way for the new runway.
•    Implementing measures to deliver on its commitment of no increase in airport-related road traffic and more than half of passengers using public transport to access the airport.


Chris Grayling, transport secretary, said: “Aviation expansion is important for the UK both in boosting our economy and jobs and promoting us on the world stage.

“Leaving the EU is a new chapter for Britain and provides us with a great opportunity to forge a new role in the world. We are determined to seize that opportunity and having the right infrastructure in place will allow us to build a more global Britain.”

The consultation on the draft national policy statement will last for 16 weeks. It can be found here.

Airports National Policy Statement: new runway capacity and infrastructure at airports in the south-east of England can be found here (pdf).

Image credit | Shutterstock

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