Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Heathrow decision could be six months away

The government has given itself six months to reach a decision on the mooted Heathrow expansion, despite pleas for earlier action.

Business secretary Sajid Javid today said ministers would reach a verdict on how best to meet the air capacity crisis in the South East by the end of this year.

The announcement is sure to disappoint engineers who called for an immediate response to the Airports Commission report, which this month recommended Heathrow be allowed to build a third runway.

Revealing moves to boost productivity across the UK, Javid said the government was going to invest £100bn in infrastructure this Parliament.

“We’re going to grasp the nettle of airport capacity in the South East, taking a decision by the end of this year,” he pledged.

Javid cited the previously announced ringfencing of vehicle excise duty for roads projects and changes to the way Network Rail works as examples of the way the government was improving productivity.

He also revealed measures to give automatic planning permission on suitable brownfield sites. 

“We’ll get Britain moving, we’ll get Britain building, and we’ll get Britain learning,” said the minister. “We’ll deliver the infrastructure and skills this country needs to become the world’s richest major economy.”

Aecom called for infrastructure needs to be considered alongside housing on brownfield sites.

The consultancy’s design and planning practice leader Andrew Jones said: “Former industrial, brownfield sites are often disconnected from vital social infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals, and good transport connections. We caution against a disjointed approach that creates new housing isolated from existing communities.”

Institution of Civil Engineers director general Nick Baveystock said:“This is a sound approach to improving the UK’s productivity, with infrastructure – a catalyst for boosting growth, skills and innovation - rightly placed at its heart. Government also articulates well the problems with our infrastructure and barriers to enabling these benefits, and the proposed National Infrastructure Plan for Skills will form a vital piece of the puzzle.

“We now need to see this vision translate into action - shifting things to the next level. While the renewed commitment to many initiatives and policies is welcome - actually achieving the ‘lasting change’ Government aspires to will depend on decisions being made and ultimately, implementation.”  

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.