Councils stop short of backing Heathrow expansion

Hounslow and Ealing Councils, speaking at the property fair MIPIM, both spoke positively about the economic benefits of Heathrow Airport, but stopped short of backing expansion.

Hounslow Leader Steve Curran was concerned mainly with the uncertainty caused by governmental prevarication, and urged a quick decision, yes or no, on a third runway, recommended by the Davies Commission. He said: “we fully support the Davies recommendation to make a decision. Government needs to get on with it.” But he did not say he hoped for a decision in favour of expansion.

He went on to say “we are an airport economy, so no decision is hurting us.”

Julian Bell, Ealing leader, also at MIPIM, said “Heathrow is critical to jobs. Some of the most deprived wards in Southall have 30% of their jobs at the airport”. While also not backing expansion, he described the plans floated by the Mayor of London to close Heathrow as “madness”.

The councils are at MIPIM promoting opportunities, with their presence paid for by a number of the developers seeking planning permissions in the boroughs, a practice for which they have received some criticism.

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