Date set for public consultation launch of Heathrow expansion

Heathrow airport bosses have announced that the public will get the chance to shape plans of any future expansion as it vows to deliver a third runway “more responsibly and affordably”.

The consultation will run for ten weeks from 17 January 2018 and provide an opportunity for people to have their say on aspects such as airport design, how best to mitigate the environmental impacts and reconfiguring the M25 for the new runway. It will also look at whether flights should be concentrated over a single area or spread out over several. This consultation is the latest expansion milestone, keeping Heathrow on schedule to deliver the trading infrastructure Britain will need to be successful post-Brexit.

Prime minister Theresa May backed a £16bn expansion of the London hub in October 2016, but plans to expand have been dogged by criticism surrounding the impact on air quality in London and noise levels to residents should plans get the green light. The new discussions are separate from a previously announced government consultation on a National Policy Statement on airports. Delivering expansion affordably is a key priority for Heathrow and the consultation will also include how this can be achieved by phasing the construction of new terminal infrastructure at the airport.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, said: “Expanding Heathrow is pivotal to Britain’s future prosperity and it’s a chance to make the airport a better neighbour for our local communities. Over the past year, we’ve been working hard to evolve our expansion plans and have come up with several new options to deliver it more responsibly and affordably. Next January, we’ll be sharing these options in a ten-week public planning consultation and we want to hear what you think. By working together throughout the consultation, the public can help shape our plans and, jointly, we can ensure that expansion delivers for our passengers, businesses across Britain and importantly for our local communities.”

The airport said it would be keeping its promise to property owners whose homes will be demolished due to the expansion of paying them full market value plus 25% and so this would not feature in the consultation.

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