'Masterplan' for Heathrow Airport third runway and expansion released

A plan of how the airport will look. Credit: Grimshaw Architects

Images showing how Heathrow Airport could look once its third runway and expansion are completed have been released.

The extra runway is expected to be operational by 2026, while the full expansion should be completed by 2050.

In order to build the expansion, villages will be demolished, a river re-routed and the M25 diverted underneath the new runway.

The M25 will be diverted underneath the third runway as part of the plans. Credit: Grimshaw Architects

The plans have been released as part of a 12-week consultation which will allow people to give feedback on Heathrow’s proposals for the future layout of the airport, including the new runway and other infrastructure such as terminals and road access.

Plans to expand Heathrow have been met with complaints over noise and the impact on the environment.

As part of the consultation, the public will also be able to have their say on Heathrow's plans to mitigate these.

These plans include proposing a Heathrow Ultra Low Emissions Zone and Heathrow Vehicle Access Charge in a bid to stop people driving to the airport in an attempt to reduce congestion and greenhouse gases, as well as a proposed 6.5-hour ban on scheduled night flights in a bid to keep noise disruption to a minimum.

A vehicle access charge will be brought in, in a bid to stop people driving to the airport. Credit: Grimshaw Architects

The airport said the consultation also reveals plans for growth in phases – from runway opening in approximately 2026, to the end “masterplan” in approximately 2050.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, said: “Expansion must not come at any cost.

“That is why we have been working with partners at the airport, in local communities and in Government to ensure our plans show how we can grow sustainably and responsibly – with environmental considerations at the heart of expansion.

“This consultation is an opportunity for people to have their say on our preferred masterplan, so it’s really important that as many people as possible take part.

"We look forward to hearing your views.”

Insulation will try and stop noise pollution from the airport. Credit: Grimshaw Architects

The airport said it will set out plans for mitigating the effects of expansion, including property compensation, noise insulation policy, and a community fund.

The plans revealed in this consultation incorporate the feedback gathered from the airport’s first public consultation on expansion in 2018, and the Airspace and Future Operations Consultation held earlier this year, “as well as from continuous engagement with local communities, local authorities, airlines, environmental stakeholders and other interested parties”, the airport said.

Responses to this consultation will inform Heathrow’s application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) – the planning consent required for the project – which is expected to be submitted to the Transport Secretary next year.

Full consultation documents will be available from 8am on Tuesday morning until September 13.

There will be a 6.5-hour ban on scheduled night flights in a bid to reduce noise. Credit: Grimshaw Architects

Paul Beckford from the No 3rd Runway Coalition, a campaign organisation opposing the expansion, said: “Heathrow will claim this is the largest consultation ever and that may well be right.

“However, this simply reflects the sheer scale of the impact that their expansion plans will have on local communities.”

Mr Beckford said that “incredibly” it appears Heathrow wants to “spread the misery of their expansion plans over a 30-year period, inflicting the blight of construction and the resultant increases in air and noise pollution on communities across London for decades”.

He added: “Every community across London and the Home Counties will experience the impacts to these proposals and we urge anyone concerned about the expansion to state their objections loudly and clearly in their responses to the consultation.”