Heathrow goes green
by Marco Cillario Wed 17 February 2016, 12:14 pm
Heathrow has announced it will spend £105 million on providing public green spaces four times the size of Hyde Park around the airport – providing its plans for expansion are approved.
The proposals, which would be subject to a public consultation process, include improvements to the southern part of Colne Valley Regional Park, west of the airport, to reduce flood risk, protect biodiversity and create new public spaces.
Heathrow would work in collaboration with the Colne Valley Regional Park Community Interest Company to create new wet meadows for flood protection, pastures for grazing animals, bridleways, a cross country course, natural ponds, sports facilities, formal gardens, community buildings and a mountain bike trail.
Heathrow would also work with Friends of the River Crane to improve the quality of the habitat for watercourses to the east of the airport.
Wetland areas with public boardwalk access and an improved cycle network connecting with local boroughs could be created to the north, and new green spaces including public sports facilities to the south.
Matt Gorman, Heathrow's director of sustainability, said: “Our new plan means this airport can be world-leading in environmental performance and guarantee that those most impacted by expansion get both the greatest benefits and fair treatment.”
A £2 million boost for electric vehicles has also been pledged amid plans to ‘turn Heathrow electrical’. The go-ahead for the installation of over 135 new chargers for at least 260 electric vehicles was given in February. The aim is to help shift greater numbers of vehicles used on and around the airport to electric power.