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:
- The Wider Property Offer Zone (WPOZ) to be expanded to cover the whole of Stanwell Moor and large parts of Stanwell
- Parking controls to be put in place in Stanwell Moor and large parts of Stanwell and provide an on-airport taxi/private hire facility
- HAL to provide an enhanced multi-purpose community hall for Stanwell Moor and Stanwell Village and a new leisure facility in the locality
- No Immigration Removal Centres in the borough
- 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
- Air quality must be no worse for residents than it is now but there should be measures to ensure continuous improvement
- Noise experienced by residents must be no worse than it is now but there should be measures to ensure continuous improvement
- No changes to the borough boundary
- 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
- 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.
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