FUNDAMENTAL DESIGN changes to Heathrow Terminal 5 and satellite building mean that crucial groundworks will not start until the end of this year, planners claimed this week.
The redesign was submitted to London's Hillingdon Borough Council last week for planning consent but 'will take at least until the end of the year to plough through, ' according to Hillingdon Council head of aviation planning Tim Jurdon.
The project won outline planning approved from Transport Secretary Stephen Byers last year. Since then engineers have been developing detailed plans, to be approved by Hillingdon.
New plans to introduce a public transport interchange immediately outside the terminal building have resulted in the decision to reduce the total amount of car parking from 8,600 spaces to 4,600.
A 4,000 space car park originally joined to the terminal building has been relocated 40m away.
An approach ramp to the terminal building has also been changed. Originally intended to take vehicles to the front entrance, it has since been rerouted to feed traffic on to the top level of the car park.
Engineers have also scrapped plans for an innovative multiwaved roof structure for the main building in favour of a simpler solution which does away with internal columns.
Some changes have been forced on the project by a government decision to keep separate two rivers which run through the site (NCE 14 February).
In one instance three rows of office buildings have had to be scrapped.
A spokesman for Heathrow operator BAA claimed construction was still on target. He denied that any delay to the 2008 completion date was anticipated.
INFOPLUS www. nceplus.co.uk/magazine/ t5