Hounslow ready for Heathrow decision
Wed 25 March 2015, 11:18 am
Councillor Steve Curran, leader of Hounslow Council, has called for whichever party is in government in May to make a speedy decision on building a third runway at Heathrow Airport.
Speaking exclusively to Great West magazine, Curran said the council is prepared for “any eventuality” over the decision.
“For Hounslow, it’s about us being on the starting blocks,” he said. “If the third runway is given the green light, we’re ready to go. We’ve got the masterplan in place and we can move very quickly to ensure that we’ve got sustainable jobs, communities and the regeneration people want and need. If it’s a ‘no’ and Heathrow isn’t a hub airport anymore, it’s seeing what other industries we can bring into the area to compensate for the loss of jobs as some businesses choose to relocate.
“Expansion of Heathrow is controversial but we work well with Heathrow airport and the airline industries; we need to ensure we’ve got good mitigation plans now, and that we’re not waiting for the government’s decision. That means getting things like the right insulation and ventilation solutions for our schools, homes and employers. There’s every reason for us to engage with the biggest employer in west London. It’s incumbent on us to do that.”
The point was reiterated by Curran, as well as by Nigel Milton, Heathrow’s director of external relations and Allan Holland, business unit director for SEGRO – the logistics firm which has over 19 million sq ft of light industrial and logistic space near the airport – to a packed audience of investors at MIPIM, the global property fair in Cannes.
Holland said: “Many of our customers are based in Hounslow providing supply chain services to Heathrow or using the airport to export and import high value products or raw materials. It is absolutely vital that politicians understand the strength of feeling from the business community over Heathrow expansion.
“97 per cent of our customers recently surveyed say that airport expansion is important for the long term economic success of the UK. We urge all parties to agree to take a decision on airport expansion as quickly as possible after Howard Davies submits his report."
The debate: "Hounslow: competing in global markets - prospects for London with or without expansion at Heathrow", was coordinated by Great West magazine publisher, 3Fox International.
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