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Railhub Archive
2002-03-26 DTR-002
Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions


Heathrow Terminal 5 - rail extension plans approved

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Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions

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Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions

Heathrow Terminal 5 - rail extension plans approved

26 Mar 2002 00:00
source Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions
type Press release

Plans for crucial new rail and tube links to serve Heathrow Airport's proposed Terminal 5 move a step further today.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Stephen Byers, today granted BAA the necessary powers and planning permission for extensions to the Heathrow Express and the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow Airport. This follows his decision of 20th November 2001 to approve the new terminal with strict conditions.

Stephen Byers said:

"Better public transport links to the airport are essential to help get Britain moving and working - at home and abroad. Importantly, it will help to remove the reliance on car journeys to the airport, which will help to reduce congestion.

"So today I am making the necessary Orders and giving planning approval for the Heathrow Express and Piccadilly Line extensions to the proposed new Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport.

"Heathrow will get the essential rail links it needs to compete successfully in the global market. These new tube and rail extensions will help to continue to make the UK a worldwide economic centre of excellence. These rail links will better serve the whole of the country, the business community and travellers."

Stephen Byers made his announcement today in Parliament. He said, in answer to a written Parliamentary Question from Lawrie Quinn (Scarborough & Whitby).

"When I gave approval on 20th November last to the building of a fifth terminal at Heathrow, I said that I shared the inquiry Inspector's view on the importance of these two proposed railway extensions to the case for approving the new terminal. I therefore imposed conditions requiring both railway extensions to be provided before the core terminal building is opened. I also said that I was minded to make the necessary Orders under the Transport and Works Act (TWA) authorising the proposed railway extensions, and to grant planning permission for this development.

"I was, however, unable at that stage to grant the necessary approvals for the railway works. This was because I wished to attach planning conditions giving satisfactory control over the railway development, but these conditions had not been discussed at the inquiry. I therefore set out in my November letter the conditions I was minded to impose and invited comments. I have subsequently received comments from interested parties which have shown a good measure of agreement for the conditions I proposed, and which have helped me to finalise their wording.

"I have therefore now decided to make the TWA Orders and to give planning approval for the Heathrow Express and Piccadilly Line extensions. Copies of both decision letters, which include the full sets of conditions for these works, have been placed in the Library of the House. "

Notes to Editors

1. Applications under the Transport and Works Act (TWA) to extend the Heathrow Express and the Piccadilly Line from the present Central Terminal Area at Heathrow to the proposed Terminal 5 were among those considered at the inquiry held by Roy Vandermeer QC between May 1995 and March 1999. The Inspector's Report and the Secretary of State's decision letter were published on 20th November 2001.

2. In granting planning approval for the Terminal 5 development, the Secretary of State accepted the Inspector's views on the importance of these two rail extensions being provided, in order to promote the use of public transport. He did not consider, however, that he could approve the railway development at that stage, pending consideration by the parties of the conditions he was minded to impose. These conditions, which were mainly designed to safeguard environmental interests during construction of the railways, had not been discussed at the inquiry, so it was necessary to give interested persons the opportunity to comment in the interests of natural justice.

3. Following consideration of the comments received, the Secretary of State has now been able to finalise the conditions. As a consequence, he has today announced his decisions to make the TWA Orders - which grant the powers required to construct and operate the proposed railway extensions - and to grant deemed planning permission for the works. The conditions imposed, and the reasons for them, are explained fully in the separate decision letters issued today in respect of the two railway projects.

4. This inquiry was the longest in British planning history. In response to concerns about the time taken to consider major infrastructure projects, the Government announced in a consultation paper issued on 17 December its plans for new Parliamentary procedures for processing such projects ("Major infrastructure projects: delivering a fundamental change").

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Railhub Archive ::: 2002-03-26 DTR-002


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