DESIGN CHANGES to Heathrow Airport terminal five's twin river diversion are being brought in to prevent harmful environmental impact, local planners said this week.
The eventual terminal buildings sit on the Duke of Northumberland and Longford Rivers' current routes, which cut the site from north to south. As a result, they need to be diverted around the buildings.
The original On Airport Single Channel Diversion (OASCD) solution required both rivers to be joined together before reaching the site and separated again once the single channel was clear of the southern site boundary.
Secretary of State for the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Stephen Byers, judged that by adopting the single channel option, the hydraulic and environmental features of this stretch of river would be lost.
'Upon detailed analysis of the effects of the original plan, it became clear that an alternative solution was needed, ' said a T5 spokesman this week. A Twin Channel Diversion (TCD) option that will keep the rivers separate is currently on the table.
In the public enquiry, which finally gave the £2.5bn project the green light last year (NCE 22 November), the fate of a revised twin rivers diversion was deferred for local authority approval.
Last month, the final application was made with a full environmental impact assessment.
Hillingdon Council expects to make a decision on the revised application by Easter.