Conservative MPs have warned that the Heathrow expansion is ‘not going to happen’ following the hung parliament. Last week, Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative MP for Richmond tweeted – ‘Heathrow expansion… not going to happen.’
He told The Sun: “Heathrow expansion already faced huge obstacles, not least a very strong legal challenge by Local Authorities and appalling air pollution implications.”
The proposal of a third runway at Heathrow Airport could be grounded!
This is due to as many as 40 of the Prime Minister’s own MPs being against the construction of another runway at the international airport.
If the third runway doesn’t go ahead, it would be a great relief for a lot of people. There could be an end to the major concerns about air pollution, noise pollution, climate change and the destruction of communities.
Before the hung parliament, Heathrow’s third runway was potentially going to be operational by 2026, creating £60 billion of economic benefits across a 60 year period.
The plan consists of a 3,500m runway which is said to be the first full-length runway to be built in the south-east of the UK since the Second World War. The costs involved are estimated to be a staggering £18.6bn.
Last year, the government stated that the decision to approve the plan is central to the economic growth of Britain – does this mean that the have placed more value upon the economic aspect of the development and completely neglected the law and the health risks imposed on Londoners? Well, Gatwick seem to think so. Gatwick have argued that the Heathrow expansion is illegal as it is already in breach of the EU Air Quality regulations and will contribute to prolonged breaches. It therefore undermines the current law and the decision to back the proposal is “unlawful”.
Whilst a large percentage of the Prime Minister’s MPs are against the runway, Labour MPs are divided on the issue. Their election manifesto only committed the party to expand Britain’s airport capacity.
The Conservative’s manifesto stated: “We will continue our programme of strategic national investments, including High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the expansion of Heathrow Airport – and we will ensure that these great projects do as much as possible to develop the skills and careers of British workers.”
Theresa May backed the proposal for a third runway at the airport last year. This was a turnaround for the Conservative party that had campaigned against the extra runway in 2010. Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, Justine Greening, the Education Secretary and the Mayor of London are against the development.
So there could be long delays for the extra runway at Heathrow as well as dealing with the housing crisis here in the UK due to the gamble Theresa May took by doing a snap general election on the 8th June 2017.