Health*

The health of our passengers, colleagues and neighbours is really important to us and we have carefully thought about the effects expansion may have on them.

*This page contains one (1) question located within the “Have your say” section at the bottom of the page.

What is the definition of health?

Health is ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.

Aspects of our proposals that could cause effects

The construction and operation of the Project will affect health in different ways. The assessment of human health considers how Project activities will affect health by changing the physical, social and economic environment.

Displacing homes, people, community facilities, businesses and recreational routes and spaces will affect health and wellbeing.

Construction activities can be noisy and dusty and may be noticeable for people who live close to the work sites. Construction will require people and materials to be brought to site and there will be changes in traffic on the local traffic network.

The construction workforce will bring economic benefits to local businesses but may also affect the availability of local services and community networks.

An expanded Heathrow will experience more flights. This will also change the environment and create increased employment opportunities.

Each of these factors can have an effect on health and how health services are provided.

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

Changes due to the Project may affect people’s physical health and mental wellbeing. This may be the case where inequalities exist or for those who are more sensitive, such as children, the elderly, those already with long-term illnesses or who are less able to take up offers of support or access public services.

The potential for poorer health and wellbeing is greatest for those who are required to move home or have their education disrupted. The changing identity of the communities near the airport may affect how those remaining feel about their community, and in turn this may affect their health and wellbeing.

Open spaces, sports facilities and some walking or cycling routes will be affected by the land required. Replacements are proposed, but there may be times before they could be fully re-provided when people are less able to be physically active. Road works and changes in traffic will need to be managed to keep drivers, pedestrians and cyclists safe and enable the Project to successfully promote walking, running and cycling to the airport by colleagues.

Having construction activity and the construction workforce near local communities close to the site boundary or construction traffic routes may affect health and wellbeing. With regard to construction activity, this will be controlled by measures in the Draft Code of Construction Practice but may still be a source of concern even when within regulatory limits.

The economic and employment benefits of the Project are expected to have a long-term and major positive benefit for health, improving quality of life. Whilst there will be some businesses that close or relocate due to the Project’s land requirements, the large opportunity for construction and operational jobs at the airport is expected to benefit local people and their families.

Although local air quality around the airport will meet national policy requirements, and the Project will be delivered in accordance with legal obligations in relation to air quality, this does not rule out the potential for health effects, specifically for those who are vulnerable to changes in air quality, such as younger people, older people and people with existing poor health.

The potential for health effects associated with noise is considered in the next section of this document.

Local health services may experience increased demand, particularly as numbers of airport passengers, visitors and colleagues increase. We are looking into how health services may need to be supported in the future. Construction workers will be provided with appropriate occupational health services, limiting their demand on local healthcare facilities.

Measures for reducing potential effects

Our initial assessment has identified additional measures that may be needed to avoid, reduce or compensate for potential effects on health.

These include:

  • Support for people in the Compulsory Purchase Zone and communities in the Wider Property Offer Zone;
  • A Community Safety Management Plan for the construction and operation phases;
  • A Community Fund to mitigate environmental and social residual effects and to fund measures which add to local quality of life.

There may also be changes in the availability of health services, planned future health infrastructure, or updates to health priorities. This will be reviewed and updated information incorporated in the Environmental Statement.

Our overall proposals

In addition to the question on this page, we also want to know what you think about our overall 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.

Have your say

The health and well-being of our passengers, colleagues and neighbours is important to us and we have carefully considered the effects expansion may have on them.

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