Heathrow Expansion May require 60-70,000 Green Belt Homes

The urbanisation impact of Heathrow has ad far too little attention.

The Airports Commission Appraisal today states

For the Extended Northern Runway

The delivery of these employment benefits would require housing to be in place to accommodate higher numbers of workers and sufficient development land to
support business growth. The upper end housing estimate (60,600 homes) may present challenges for local authorities, many of whom already struggle to meet
housing targets, but this is mitigated by the timescales for delivery and the broad area (some 14 authorities) over which the requirement is spread

For the NW runway

The delivery of these employment benefits would require housing to be in place to accommodate higher numbers of workers and sufficient development land to support business growth. The upper end housing estimate (70,800 homes) may present challenges for local authorities, many of whom already struggle to meet housing targets, but this is mitigated by the timescales for delivery and the broad area (some 14 authorities) over which the requirement is spread.

 

Gatwick

The delivery of these employment benefits would require housing and associated services to be in place to accommodate higher numbers of workers and sufficient development land to support business growth. These factors, however, are not considered to present insuperable challenges, although they would need to be carefully managed. At the lower end, the requirement for additional housing is estimated to be negligible, and even the upper end housing estimates (18,400 homes across 14 Local Authorities) are assessed to be deliverable over the period to 2030, with land availability unlikely to be affected by Green Belt issues.

The appraisal framework seems to consider that because it is possible for  number of houses to be built the issues will be less and in Gatwicks case will result in no loss of Green Belt.  But these authorities are already below OAN.  Therefore additional demand from airports will likely displace existing residents from affordability and/or require Heathrow workers to enforced share or commute further.  The welfare disbenefits of this are not considered in the apprisal framework but can be calculated easily.  The alternative is to build housing in full to meet economic need, indeed national planning policy, which would have to be either in the Green Belt or beyond with new transport connections to Heathrow (at their own cost).  The high average housing benefit taward under the benefit cap in London is £1,400.  Assume 40,000 additional claimants that’s 56 million pounds a year or over a billion over 20 years.

Overall the report shows that Heathrow Hub is much cheaper than Northwest Runway (their costings do not seem to include cost of financing) , but the latter has higher economic benefits.  The difference in benefits (which presumably as it uses the Green Book model are over the lifetime of the project not per annum) means that any BCR/CBA analysis will have Heathrow Hub blow the competition out of the water.  Now that the NW runway extension would require tunneling of the M25 as well there is no technical difficulty issues between them Heathrow Hub has become the clear favorite.  The only fly in the ointment would be the higher noise to the west under the hub. Given the CBA there would be merit in simply demolishing and relocating the affected houses.

 

One thought on “Heathrow Expansion May require 60-70,000 Green Belt Homes

  1. Pingback: Why @vincecable Theory that ‘The Politicians Will Go For Gatwick Over Heathrow’ is Flawed | Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s