The expansion of Heathrow presents both challenges and opportunities for our local communities.

The effects on local communities and how these are considered and managed are really important to us in all aspects and characteristics, but in particular in relation to people, their homes, businesses, community facilities and services, environment setting, form and function.

Some community and recreational facilities such as sports pitches and allotments as well as public services like schools will be affected.

Aspects of our proposals that could cause effects

The construction and operation of the Project will affect the community in different ways. The Community assessment considers how Project activities will affect people, their homes, businesses, community facilities and services and environment.

Because land is needed for the construction and operation of the expanded airport, people and their homes will be displaced; so too will some community facilities and open spaces used by local people. Construction activity may have effects on the local community in terms of changes to the housing market and the potential need to temporarily re-house some local people.

The increased number of flights to and from an expanded Heathrow will also result in environmental changes for local residents and their homes, as well as community facilities, local access routes, and their users.

A summary of the effects reported in the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR)

The construction of the Project will require the acquisition of 756 homes and their residents will be displaced leading to a significant negative effect.

Changes to the environment during construction may mean that some people will be offered temporary relocation while works are carried out. This has the potential to be a significant effect, for example where people rely on living near to their family, work or community facilities such as schools.

The construction of the Project will mean that some construction workers will need to move to the area temporarily. This may affect the availability of homes in the local area, particularly rented homes.

Some community facilities will need to be relocated. We have considered how and where these facilities could move so that people who use them can continue to do so, as set out in Displaced land uses and community facilities; and Utilities. Changes to the environment might mean that community facilities experience different noise and other effects compared to today.

There may be negative effects on recreational spaces and routes during construction; however, these will be temporary. Following opening of the new runway positive effects are predicted as new recreational spaces and routes are provided; this will be permanent.

Expansion will change the communities around the airport, particularly the number of homes, community facilities and environment. This may change the way people feel about where they live, and physically change the nature of these places.

Measures for reducing potential effects

The preliminary assessment undertaken has identified the need for several measures that will avoid, reduce, mitigate or compensate for potential effects; these include:

  • Replacement of community facilities, public open space (including sports facilities and allotments), and recreational routes (including public rights of way)
  • Compensation for home-owners in the Compulsory Purchase Zone and Wider Property Offer Zone and other measures to help those who need to move home as a result of the expansion – see the Property and Compensation page.
  • Measures to manage the way construction work is carried out and the number and behaviour of construction workers who may live in the area temporarily.

In addition, we have identified several opportunities for potential environmental measures to further reduce effects on the community:

  • A Home Relocation Support Service to provide support services to guide and help owners and residents in the Compulsory Purchase Zone throughout the stages of the DCO application and the home relocation process
  • An independent Resident Advice Service to engage with local residents and support their understanding and decision making
  • A Construction Workforce Accommodation Strategy to reduce the potential effects on private sector housing and set out the measures to use project-sponsored accommodation to manage the construction workforce
  • Welfare provision and occupational health services which will be provided within construction sites to reduce pressure on existing facilities or public health care services from workers not based at home
  • Community Fund which will be to set up to deal with potential risks not yet known or will still be significant after additional mitigation is applied and to fund measures which improve local quality of life
  • A Community Safety Management Plan which will be developed to promote community safety in the area during construction and operation.

We will work with the people who run community facilities and the people who use them, to identify the most appropriate way to ensure they can continue to provide services.

It is important that measures are in place to respond to the effects of the Project in each community around the airport. In some cases, this would include making sure that any public open space or community facilities required for the expansion would be replaced. In other cases, it will mean investment in the buildings and green spaces, encouraging businesses and making sure that the places that are important to people are protected.

Have your say

We want to know what you think about our proposals to manage the environmental effects of expansion and, in particular:

  • whether there are any other initiatives or proposals that we should consider to address the emissions from airport related traffic or airport operations;
  • our proposals to help health and well-being, in particular whether there are any proposals that you think we should consider to address the effect of the Project on the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, neighbours and passengers;
  • our noise insulation schemes;
  • what factors are most important as we develop our proposals for noise management, in particular our proposals for the design and implementation of a noise envelope;
  • our proposals for maximising new jobs and training, in particular, whether there are any other ways that we can maximise skills and training opportunities to benefit our local communities;
  • on our approach to addressing effects on the historic environment, including any particular proposals you would like us to consider.

To respond to our proposals please answer the overarching question on the Environmental Introduction page.

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