Third runway will overload infrastructure
There has been a lot of consternation and much written and said about the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead's housing plans and crisis. Even this though doesn’t allow for additional housing required for a Heathrow third runway.
For a third runway, the Airports Commission determined that an additional 5,000 homes would be needed in each of 14 boroughs from West London to Surrey, which are not yet in any borough plan and so would add around a third to RBWM’s existing housing demands.
And with West London already relatively built-up, boroughs for example in Surrey being further away and our relative proximity to Heathrow, this additional third runway housing burden on RBWM will likely be more than 5,000 homes, or more than a third of existing plans. In addition, demolition of homes in the Heathrow villages for a third runway will result in thousands of people needing to be rehoused in local boroughs.
With relatively low unemployment in West London and the Thames Valley (some commentators say “practically full employment”), as is already the case, jobs promised by Heathrow would be filled largely by people migrating into the area, adding to the pressures on housing, schools, health and transport infrastructure which are already not being taken into account in borough planning, and adding to our considerable and increasing congestion, pressure on services, etc.
Contrary to the airport fear-mongering, there is no proposal for Heathrow to go away, so existing and future jobs related to the airport as it is are secure and will continue.
If you would like to know more and to support the cause, visit the Stop Heathrow Expansion stall at this weekend’s Maidenhead Festival. The theme will be “The Bare Necessities of life” - clean air, housing, public safety, quality of life, 8 hours uninterrupted sleep, and not being subjected to early death due to noise, pollution, stress, high blood pressure etc, which are all further threatened by a Heathrow third runway. Every year 10,000 people die early in London due to noise and pollution, and the Thames Valley is already a low-lying, damp in winter and relatively polluted area. .
Far better to distribute the demand around regional airports, providing flights and jobs in the regions where they are needed, provide housing which the regions are more easily able to accommodate, and relieve rather than further exacerbate the “North-South divide”.
Written by Paul Groves, Maidenhead
Published by the Maidenhead Advertiser on 20th July 2017