Thank you very much for your email about Heathrow expansion. Many of my constituents’ jobs and businesses depend on Heathrow and we have put off the decision for too long.
The Government’s decision to support a new runway at Heathrow in the proposed Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) is a momentous step for our country and particularly important following Brexit. Heathrow expansion will deliver a boost of up to £74 billion to the economy and ensure the UK maintains its position as a global leader in aviation. It will also benefit our local economy and constituents.
This will be the first full length runway in the south-east since the Second World War, which I believe sends a very clear message that this country is open for business. Forecasts show that by the mid-2030s all five of the London’s major airports will be at full capacity. Expanding Heathrow will not only improve connectivity in the UK itself, but will also better connect the UK to long haul destinations in growing world markets, boosting trade and creating jobs. I welcome the fact that Heathrow will be privately funded and that the costs will not be met by the taxpayer, unlike HS2, which brings no benefit to Chesham and Amersham. It is also important to remember that expansion would create tens of thousands of local jobs.
The NPS has taken into account public and industry feedback. I welcome the action taken by the Government, which was not well developed prior to 2010, to ensure local communities and the environment are protected. The NPS includes a legally enforceable ban on scheduled night flights for 6.5 hours, at least an hour longer than the current ban in operation. It is also positive news that the NPS includes a world class package of up to £2.6 billion of compensation and mitigation measures to help those most affected by expansion. I want to assure you that development consent will only be granted if the Government is satisfied that UK air quality obligations are not breached. Ministers have assured me that expansion can be delivered within the UK’s climate change obligations.
I welcome the fact that Parliament will be able to assess the NPS and other materials published by the Government before voting on the issue.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Updated July 2018