'Heathrow City' plan if airport moves from west London

Heathrow Airport Image copyright PA
Image caption Some Heathrow terminals could be turned into shopping centres

A new city with 190,000 homes and thousands of jobs could be created if the hub airport moves from Heathrow in west London, Mayor Boris Johnson said.

The Heathrow City plan envisions the future if the Airports Commission rejects plans for a third runway and opts for a new hub at Thames Estuary.

Labour say the plans would "wreck west London's economy" and the Greens warned about the estuary's environment.

The Airports Commission will rule on the estuary option later this year.

Global real estate advisers Jones Lang LaSalle created the options for the report, unveiled by the mayor, looking at the Heathrow site after the hub moves by 2030.

'More misery'

The plan envisages a new residential quarter which could be created given the transport facilities and says some of the terminal buildings could be used for retail and community use.

Two new large campus universities created at the Heathrow site is another option.

Image copyright Foster and Partners
Image caption The Greens are worried about the environmental impact on the Thames Estuary

Saying Heathrow's expansion will lead to "more misery", the mayor added: "I believe there is no question that the best option for increasing our aviation capacity is now to the east of London, just as there is no question that Heathrow would then present a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a new town within the capital that would supply thousands more homes and jobs.

"Londoners should be in no doubt, if Heathrow is allowed a third runway, it will be rapidly followed by a fourth, as airlines move out of Gatwick to take up the new capacity."

Dr Onkar Sahota, Labour London Assembly Member for Ealing and Hillingdon, said: "His plan would wreck west London's economy and create economic chaos for my constituents.

"We do need to make sure that Heathrow works for local residents, this means no 'mixed-mode', no additional night flights and different flight paths to reduce noise," adding that local pollution also needed to be tackled.

London Assembly Green Party Member Darren Johnson said: "The only credible solution is to reduce the total number of flights and not build new airports or new runways.

"What is the point of building a huge airport in the Thames Estuary flood plain and expanding the total number of flights and climate change emissions?"

The Airports Commission, headed by Sir Howard Davies, will make its final recommendation on airport expansion in summer 2015.

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