BAA, DEVELOPER OF Heathrow Terminal 5 (T5), has set key design parameters on the controversial £2bn project in advance of a final government decision on planning permission expected this autumn.
Fixed aspects include the massive underground railway station box which will house Heathrow Express and Piccadilly Line stations immediately below the main terminal.This will be 150m long,80m wide and 18m deep.
T5 managing director Eryl Smith said last month that 'fixes had to be made now' if detailed design was to be completed in time for work to start on site next year.
'The gamble is not that the project might not get the go-ahead - we are still confident it will - but that approval will come with conditions which will clash with the current design, 'he said.
Other crucial decisions that could be hit by planning conditions include the vertical and horizontal alignments of the tunnels linking the rail lines to existing tunnels under Heathrow.
If approved, T5 is due to open in 2007.