Collaboration first for councils working on Heathrow airport expansion proposals

Eight councils and four other bodies in the Heathrow airport area have signed a formal, long-term, agreement for joint-working on the airport's proposals for a third runway, regardless of individual positions supporting or opposing the airport's expansion.

The Heathrow Strategic Planning Group (HSPG) of councils, local economic partnerships and a community interest company wants to ensure that, if Heathrow Airport Ltd's proposals for a third runway and related development are given government consent, the benefits such as economic and infrastructure improvements are maximised and negatives factors such as noise and air quality impacts are minimised.

In a separate but related development, Heathrow airport has also agreed to fund staffing costs for both an HSPG team and for staff at HSPG member organisations who are providing input into Heathrow's emerging expansion proposals. The plans will be submitted to government as a Development Consent Order (DCO) application in 2020-'21.

Heathrow and HSPG are also producing a joint evidence base, to understand the wider strategic impacts of Heathrow's expansion, in aspects such as housing and job demand, business location and infrastructure.

That is in addition to £400,000 awarded to HSPG by the Government, in the form of the Planning Delivery Fund, for two years of joint planning work across the area, to ensure that development is planned well and sustainably and supported by the right infrastructure.

On 23rd March 2018 the House of Commons Transport Select Committee issued its Third Report of the Session 2017-'19 on the Government's proposed draft Airports National Policy Statement, which set out the requirements that a third runway DCO would need to meet to be successful. HSPG gave evidence to the Committee in January this year and is delighted that the Third Report has incorporated many of the Group's concerns, particularly on environmental, health and surface access matters.

HSPG members began working together in late 2015 to shape the proposals for the expansion of Heathrow Airport. HSPG has gained the support of the Government and other national and regional organisations. It has now entered a new chapter in its rapidly evolving role.

The Group now hopes to develop its work, influence and effectiveness further on behalf of its members and key stakeholders. More information on the Group can be obtained at www.heathrowstrategicplanninggroup.com/

 

HSPG Members

Slough Borough Council

Buckinghamshire County Council

South Bucks District Council

London Borough of Hounslow

London Borough of Ealing

Spelthorne Borough Council

Runnymede Borough Council

Surrey County Council

Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP

Thames Valley Berkshire LEP

Colne Valley Park CIC