Heathrow expansion would exacerbate London's housing challenge, mayor's report says

Expanding Heathrow Airport would exacerbate London's housing challenge, while the health risks caused by a third runway would cost the government up to £25 billion over 60 years, a new report by the mayor of London claims.

Report: Heathrow expansion will exacerbate London's housing challenge
Report: Heathrow expansion will exacerbate London's housing challenge

With London’s population predicted to grow to 11.3 million by 2050, London’s housing challenge would be exacerbated by a Heathrow expansion, the report says.

It said: "The Airports Commission expects an expanded Heathrow to generate an additional 80,000 new direct, indirect and induced jobs by 2050 ... A significant proportion of these new employees will need to be accommodated in the region.

"West London and the areas surrounding the airport are, however, already struggling to keep up with background growth, in the face of overheated property markets and increasingly limited land supply."  

Johnson argued that the only solution to Britain's aviation dilemma was to pursue plans for a new hub airport to the east of the capital, away from populated areas.

He added that Heathrow’s "cramped urban location simply cannot accommodate the kind of airport this country requires to compete on the global stage and the cost to the taxpayer of necessary road and rail connections would be huge".

The report also said one million people could be exposed to significant noise levels caused by a third runway, which would also "expose 124 more schools and 43,200 more schoolchildren to an unacceptable level of noise compared to no expansion".

The report cites guidance published by the Department for Transport in December which "has allowed the Mayor's team to calculate the health impact of an expanded Heathrow as costing £20 to £25 billion over 60 years" reflecting the increased risk of heart attack, stroke, dementia and other disorders shown to be linked to prolonged exposure to aircraft noise.

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