Slough Borough Council has announced its support for expansion at Heathrow Airport.
The announcement came as the council submitted its response to the Davies Commission on airport capacity – clearly supporting Heathrow expansion over Gatwick.
Slough has been working closely with Heathrow and, this week, signed up to an agreement which commits the council and Heathrow to a formal partnership and lays out mitigation measures which will be put in place for the borough and its residents.
One of the mitigation measures already agreed is the council and Heathrow establishing a partnership and working together to resolve airport-related issues – the work of this partnership to be funded by Heathrow to the tune of £100,000 per year for 15 years.
They will also work on studies on improving public transport access to the airport, including 24-hour bus services and measures to promote cycling and improve cycle routes, the potential of new council homes in areas where the airport has purchased housing affected by expansion, and measures to ensure good management of homes affected the airport’s ‘offer to buy’ scheme.
Councillor Rob Anderson, leader of the council, said: “Heathrow is one of the main reasons Slough’s economy is so buoyant, our unemployment so low and our prospects so positive.
“By working with the airport to agree millions of pounds of mitigation for our town and its residents, we are confident in supporting the expansion of Heathrow – cementing our relationship with our neighbour and building growth into both our futures.”
Councillor James Swindlehurst, deputy leader of the council, said: “We have been pushing the airport hard for mitigation measures for our town.
“The Heathrow expansion proposals affect Slough probably more than any other borough but will also deliver huge economic benefit for our residents.
“Having reached agreement to secure adequate mitigation the council feels able to give support for expansion at Heathrow to secure its long term prosperity.
“Slough’s connectivity to London, the rest of the country and the world is key to our success and the only barrier to our support was ensuring our residents were well compensated.”
Councillor Sohail Munawar, commissioner for economic and social inclusion, said: “This agreement and the measures within it bring a wealth of opportunities for Slough and its residents.
“From a training and employment scheme which could see the end of NEETs in Slough, to studies and plans to improve access to Heathrow for the thousands of our residents who work at the airport – a positive future for Heathrow is also a positive future for our town. They have our support.”
In the council’s submission to the Davies Commission, Slough supports expansion at Heathrow Airport and specifies Heathrow Airport new North West runway proposal as the preferred option.