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BAA to withdraw plans for additional runways at London

25-May-2010 10:24 AM

UK’s BAA announced (24-May-2010) in response to the new British Government’s "Coalition Agreement", London Heathrow Airport will cease work on the planning application for a third runway. The company also plans to stop buying properties in Sipson, after a period of notice. In line with assurances given to local residents in 2009, Heathrow will continue to consider buying properties which have been issued with a bond under its long-term property market support (PMSB) scheme until 22-Jun-2010. The airport did not disclose how much it has already spent on the project (Reuters, 24-May-2010). The previous government approved the plans to construct a new runway and terminal in Jan-2009 [more]

London Stansted Airport also announced (24-May-2010) plans to withdraw its application to build a second runway at the airport. The airport also plans to withdraw, with immediate effect, the provision for assisted relocation within the home-owner support scheme introduced at Stansted in 2004. However, in line with assurances given to local residents, the airport will proceed with the purchase of eligible properties currently going through the process, where it can be demonstrated that the owner is marketing or has marketed the property, and has not been able to agree a sale. BAA had already spent GBP190 million pounds on the project. Greenpeace welcomed the withdrawal from both airports. [more]

BAA: “We recognise the importance of government policy in a matter as significant and controversial as runway capacity. The policy intentions of the new government are clear and it is no longer appropriate for us to purchase properties.  Equally important is our intention to stand behind our commitment made to provide time for those local residents who wish to sell their properties to us, to do so … Heathrow plays an important role for the UK and supports thousands of jobs.  We continue to believe that new capacity would strengthen the UK's trading links with the global markets on which our economy and our competitiveness depend,” Colin Matthews, CEO. Source: BAA, 24-May-2010.

London Stansted Airport: “We have reflected carefully on the new Government's clear intention to change its airports policy and have moved quickly to withdraw this application. Stansted Airport is a key driver of economic growth in this part of England, and we will continue to work hard to bring new business here and to work with our neighbours, and the wider community, to provide jobs and strong business and travel opportunities in the months and years ahead. We continue to believe that new airport capacity is needed in the South East of England, to strengthen the UK's international trading links,” David Johnston, Managing Director. Source: BAA, 24-May-2010.

Greenpeace: “BAA has finally come to terms with reality and recognised what everyone else has known for months. New runways at Heathrow and Stansted ... never made sense on economic or environmental grounds,” Company Statement. Source: Reuters, 24-May-2010.