Historic Environment*

The expansion of Heathrow presents challenges but also opportunities for historic places, buildings and landscapes that people value.

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

Expansion requires land that results in the loss of historic settlements, individual buildings, landscape character and archaeological remains. It also involves new development and additional aircraft movements that affect the character of remaining conservation areas and historic parks and gardens. The setting (or surroundings) that contributes to the experience and understanding of listed buildings may also be affected, as well as the significance of scheduled monuments.

What does "historic environment" include?

The historic environment includes archaeology, structures, listed buildings, conservation areas and the historic character of the landscape.

Aspects of our proposals that could cause effects

The construction of the new runway, terminals and aprons, together with the works required to divert and construct new local roads, create new Parkways and provide additional or replacement airport development, have the potential to alter the heritage significance of historic villages in the immediate vicinity of the Airport. The increased number of flights that will use an expanded Heathrow will also result in additional noise that potentially affects the contribution that setting makes to the experience and understanding of Registered Historic Parks and Gardens along the Thames.

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

The construction of the Project will result in the loss of part of Harmondsworth Conservation Area and some listed buildings within it. In the Longford area, all designated built heritage assets and the Conservation Area will be lost.

Heritage assets of archaeological interest within the construction footprint will also be lost and there is the potential for significant effects on remaining historic landscape character. Construction in the vicinity of Harmondsworth, Colnbrook, Sipson, Harlington, Stanwell, Stanwell Moor and East Bedfont will alter the ways in which historic buildings and conservation areas are experienced.

During operation of an expanded Heathrow, noise levels may change for several historic buildings and landscapes resulting in the potential for significant effects:

  • To the east of the airport: the Royal Botanic Garden World Heritage Site at Kew, Chiswick House, Syon Park, Richmond Park, Osterley Park, Richmond Terrace Walk and Terrace and Buccleuch Gardens (Grade II) ;
  • To the west of the airport: six Registered Historic Park and Gardens of the Royal Estate Windsor, and two those at Eton College and Ditton Park. Potential improvements may be achieved by measures that connect historic places and enhance the public realm. Measures for reducing potential effects.

The proposed runway has been carefully positioned to retain the historic High Street and the more significant built heritage assets of the Harmondsworth conservation area. None of the development proposals negatively affect either of the Mayfield Farm designated historic sites.

Our historic environment strategies

We are proposing four historic environment strategies that will address effects on the historic environment and which provide a framework for developing additional measures to make a positive contribution to the historic environment. These include:

  • A Heritage Management Strategy to protect heritage assets during the construction process;
  • A Heritage Design Strategy to embed urban, architectural and landscape design approaches appropriate to the historic environment;
  • The Heritage Interpretation Strategy to celebrate the locally distinctive environment in the design of recognisable places;
  • The Historic Environment Research Framework and Historic Environment Overarching Written Scheme of Investigation for archaeological research and investigation.

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

  • Using design, architecture and landscaping to take account of the local heritage qualities and protect adjacent conservation areas;
  • Creating Harmondsworth Park Visitor Centre – a new community facility focussed on the Great Barn and St Mary’s Church;
  • Making beneficial use of residential historic buildings and the Conservation Area in Harmondsworth;
  • Providing information about the historic environment and landscape within the Green Loop for pedestrians and cyclists, connecting heritage to Public Open Space;
  • Implementing traffic reduction measures for conservation areas likely to be affected by surface access changes.

Feedback from previous consultations

Following feedback from Airport Expansion Consultation One in January 2018 and engagement with the Heathrow Strategic Planning Group, we have reduced the amount of development in the Mayfield Farm area.

This will help to minimise effects on the setting of the Scheduled Monuments and avoid conflict with the London Borough of Hounslow’s aspirations for mixed use development, as set out in their emerging West of the Borough Plan.

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 expansion of Heathrow presents both challenges and opportunities for the historic environment and for the historic buildings and features which may be affected. We have set out in the Preliminary Environmental Information Report a series of historic environment principles that are informing the design and development of the expansion of Heathrow and have included a number of measures within the scheme design to minimise effects on the historic environment. We are proposing four historic environment strategies that will address effects on the historic environment.

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