Government urged to speed up Heathrow decision
by James Renoux-Wood Wed 16 March 2016, 12:53 pm
Senior developers and Hounslow Council leaders have unanimously urged the government to make a decision about the proposed third runway at Heathrow airport, during discussions at the MIPIM property conference in Cannes.
An event, ‘Hounslow: responding to the opportunity of a third runway’ took place yesterday evening (15 March) at the New London Architecture main stage.
Nigel Milton, director of external affairs at Heathrow airport, spoke of progress towards approval being granted for the third runway – in July 2015, the Airports Commission recommended the government backed the proposals.
Hounslow Council leader, Steve Curran, said it was now time for the government to make a decision and that after two years of discussions with Heathrow, “a difficult relationship is on the up”.
The inertia also provoked criticism from partnerships development manager at developer Segro, Neil Impiazzi, who spoke of the "frustrating indecision".
Segro owns £5.5 million of property around Heathrow, said Impiazzi, who called the hub a "leading airport for exports."
"If we want to support British airports, then support Heathrow," he added.
According to Tony Pidgley, president of the London Chamber of Commerce, a third runway is needed because "a world class city needs a world class output".
He spoke of the "overwhelming support" for Heathrow and claimed that out of 500 businesses polled, 54% backed Heathrow, while 32% preferred plans to expand Gatwick airport.
Brendon Walsh, Hounslow Council’s executive director of regeneration, economic development and environment, said: "We are the airport economy and we’re desperate for a decision to be made.
"With a decision, we can plan – with a lack of one, we can’t."
Toby Fox, managing director at 3Fox International, which publishes Great West magazine, chaired the event.