Foster Thames estuary planSource: Foster & Partners
Money raised would be used to build Thames Hub airport
Norman Foster has said the government should ditch any temptation to perform a U-turn on plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport and press ahead with building a new airport in the Thames Estuary instead.
The architect unveiled plans for a four runway airport at the site last year (pictured) and is worried prime minister David Cameron might be reconsidering the decision to axe plans to build a third runway at Heathrow.
Within days of coming to power two years, the coalition dropped the previous government’s plans to build a third runway while last week London mayor Boris Johnson said no third runway would be built at Heathrow so long as he was mayor.
But Foster told the FT any U-turn on Heathrow would be bad for the UK. “A third Heathrow runway is not a long-term solution – more in the Band-Aid tradition. A new airport would take the same time to get planning but would give us the capacity we need for decades to come.”
Foster said the new airport off the Isle of Grain would cost £20 billion to build plus a further £3 billion for a rail link to St Pancras in London.
Around £10 billion of the cost of the Thames Hub project will be recouped through the closure and redevelopment of Heathrow, Foster said who added that a further £19 billion could be raised through landing charges.
In May, the current vice president of the Town and Country Planning Association, Graeme Bell, said Heathrow should be closed and turned into a garden city supporting 30,000 homes.
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