Listening to the community
UPDATE (December 1, 2014): Heathrow announces new property compensation proposal following consultation
Heathrow has today announced plans to extend its property compensation scheme should an additional runway be built. Under the improved scheme, homes in close proximity to the new runway will be covered that aren’t compulsorily purchased, with a 25% above market value offer.
The extension is based on direct feedback from recent local community consultation events. More information available here.
Our revised proposal
Once the Airports Commission shortlisted our proposal in December for a third runway we held a major public consultation with local residents, businesses and stakeholders on our proposal.
Over 13,000 people took the chance to have their say on our plans, with over a thousand local residents attending 13 public exhibitions across the local area.
The feedback from the consultation was crucial in helping us gain a better understanding of the issues which are most important to residents. We have listened carefully and used this feedback to shape the updated and detailed plan which we submitted in May to the Airports Commission.
The most significant update to our proposal was the decision to locate the proposed new north-west runway further to the south. As a result of this, the number of people affected by significant noise would fall by at least 12,000 compared to our initial outline submission; some 200 fewer homes will be subject to compulsory purchase and two important heritage sites - Harmondsworth Great Barn and St Mary's church - are able to be better protected.
Moving the proposed runway in this way also avoids the need to redevelop the M4/M25 junction to the north of the new runway. This was an issue which many local residents raised with us during the public consultation.
We have also announced details of our proposed compensation package for the most affected local residents. We are now in the process of consulting again with local residents and businesses to help shape our overall compensation scheme in the event of a third runway at Heathrow.
The Airports Commission is due to make its final recommendations to Government in summer 2015. We realise that this creates a period of uncertainty for local residents. However, we are absolutely committed to working with local people throughout this process.
You can find out more about our updated plans and the results of our public consultation in our summary document Taking Britain Further.
If you would like more information about what Heathrow's plans mean for you or your area, please get in touch with our Community Relations team using the contact details (right).
Our commitments to the community
While we already have a number of programs in place to reduce the impact on our local community, as part of our submission to the Airports Commission we have committed to working harder for the community across 10 areas. While all 10 provide benefits that will reach across the UK, it is the following five commitments that relate directly to our local community– they are:
- Reduce aircraft noise and lessen noise impacts for people under flight paths by encouraging the world’s quietest aircraft to use Heathrow, routing aircraft higher over London, delivering periods with no aircraft overhead and allocating £250m to provide noise insulation.
- Treat those most affected by a third runway fairly by proposing compensation of 25% above market value, all legal fees, and stamp duty costs for a new home for anyone whose home needs to be purchased.
- Keep CO2 emissions within UK climate change targets and play our part in meeting local air quality limits by incentivising cleaner aircraft, supporting global carbon trading and increasing public transport use.
- Increase the proportion of passengers using public transport to access Heathrow to more than 50% by supporting new rail, bus and coach schemes to improve public transport to Heathrow and considering the case for a congestion charge.
- Protect more than 100,000 existing local jobs and create 100,000 new jobs nationwide by developing our local employment, apprenticeships and skills programmes and supporting a supply chain throughout the UK including during construction.
Our current community work
Every year Heathrow spends around £2 million supporting our closest communities. Through the Heathrow Community Fund we provide support to local people via grants on education and skills, helping to protect and improve the local environment whilst bringing communities together.
Heathrow is also at the forefront of efforts to tackle aircraft noise as we acknowledge it is a significant issue for local communities. Despite double the number of aircraft since 1974, the number of residents affected by noise has decreased tenfold.
We know that noise remains an issue and we are committed to addressing it, balanced alongside the need to also safeguard the connectivity Heathrow provides. To mitigate the impacts of noise we provide a range of noise mitigation schemes including:
- Residential Day Noise Insulation Scheme
- Residential Night Noise Insulation Scheme
- Community Buildings Noise Insulation Scheme
- Vortex Protection Scheme
- Home Relocation Assistance Scheme
Find out more at heathrow.com/noise.
We are working closely with all our partners on sustainability measures with a focus on being a world class leader in managing and reducing environmental impacts. As part of our commitment, we have a rolling target of decreasing CO2 emissions by 34%, from buildings and infrastructure, by 2020 (based on 1990 levels).
Heathrow has recently won its sixth Biodiversity Benchmark award in a row, as well as a Sustainability Leaders Award for the new Terminal 2. Heathrow was also named ‘Champion of Champions’, winning four International Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice and Sustainable Development late last year.
These awards reflect Heathrow’s continued commitment to enhancing the local, regional and national economic and social benefits of the airport.
Find out more about Heathrow’s sustainability work at heathrow.com/sustainability.