Three things Boris wants to build at Heathrow instead of a new runway

Marion Dakers

The Mayor of London has been a vocal supporter of a new airport to the east of London, so much so that one of the options was at one stage nicknamed Boris Island.

Today, Boris Johnson has set out three possible uses for Heathrow if it were to close and make way for an East End aviation hub.

1. New education and technology quarter
Terminals one, four and five would be transformed into a research hub, with high-tech firms and university campuses brought in. This scheme would have around 32,000 homes and 10,000 student rooms, along with 98,000 jobs.

A report by Jones Lang LaSalle for the mayor compares this idea to Paris Saclay and the Boston innovation district.

2. New town
Closest to Boris' vision of the Royal Borough of Heathrow, option two would take its inspiration from Milton Keynes and see 47,000 homes built on the site of the airport. Some of the terminal buildings would be kept as a town centre hub, with shops and other services.

3. New residential quarter
This would be more of a dormitory town for central London, packing in 82,000 houses aimed at commuters. It would generate less money in business rates but more in council tax than option 2.

"This report is about clearing away the smoke screen put up by people whose loyalty is to their shareholders, not to Londoners; and prompting a genuine, honest discussion about what London could achieve in a world post Heathrow airport," said Johnson in a statement.

Hillingdon Council leader Ray Puddifoot said he backed the mayor's efforts yesterday, though other local politicians were less supportive.
Onkar Sahota, local Labour London Assembly for Ealing & Hillingdon, said:

The Mayor is today wasting yet more taxpayers money pushing his unworkable, unrealistic and unaffordable plan to close Heathrow in favour of a new airport in the Thames Estuary…. He must be the only person left in London who thinks this is a good idea.

The government’s Airports Commission has said it will rule in or out a Thames Estuary airport this autumn, before making a final recommendation after the 2015 general election.