Architects lose green sheen by winning third runway contract

Posted by jamie — 18 November 2009 at 5:07pm - Comments

One of third runway architects Grimshaw's earlier works (photo by Mat Strange)

Even though it hasn't been officially announced, it's been widely reported that architectural firm Grimshaw has won the bid to design the third runway at Heathrow. How much design a strip of tarmac needs I don't know, but presumably there's more to it than my ignorant assumptions suggest.

Grimshaw are, of course, the firm behind such eco-hits as the Eden Project and the firm's chairman Sir Nicholas Grimshaw has something of a reputation for sustainable and environmentally considerate approaches to architecture.

New Gatwick owners would like more runways, please

Posted by jamie — 22 October 2009 at 2:28pm - Comments

Gatwick will shortly have a new owner. BAA is selling the airport for much less than it originally hoped in order to reduce the company's debt. But the new owners have already indicated they intend to expand Gatwick as soon as possible, including a new second runway.

Global Infrastructure Partners, which has paid much less than BAA wanted, want to give Gatwick a major make-over, including a second runway. An injunction prevents them from doing this until 2019 at the earliest, but GIP has suggested it will get planning applications sorted so a new runway could be built as soon as possible.

Third runway grounded? Not quite yet...

Posted by jamie — 13 October 2009 at 4:45pm - Comments

How the Sunday Times reported the story

'BAA to give up on third runway' ran the headline in this weekend's Sunday Times and with the recent good news about Kingsnorth delay, there was a moment when I thought it was my Christmas and birthday presents rolled in to one. But unpick the details and unfortunately it's not quite the prize it appears to be.

Tories will 'definitely' scrap Heathrow's third runway

Posted by jamie — 6 October 2009 at 4:39pm - Comments

Some promising news from the Tory party conference in Manchester, where they've pledged to dump plans for Heathrow's third runway as part of their election campaign package. "We are absolutely firm on our opposition to expansion at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted," shadow transport minister Julian Brazier told the Evening Standard today. "It will definitely be in the manifesto."

It's great to hear their commitment being reaffirmed as it shows how isolated the government is on this issue. But there's a long way to go between promising to include it in the election manifesto, being able to form a government and then actually getting round to reversing the decision. Reports from the conference say that the Heathrow pledge in Theresa Villiers' speech received a polite smattering of applause, but her promise to crackdown on cowboy clampers roused the audience further still. Make of that what you will.

BAA rapped for 'misleading' third runway advert

Posted by jamie — 26 August 2009 at 12:17pm - Comments

For as long as it's been pushing for an expanded Heathrow, BAA has been making exaggerated claims about the environmental impacts of a third runway. Now they, along with aviation lobbying group Future Heathrow, have been hauled up by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for making "misleading" claims about the levels of dirt, noise and air pollution a new runway will generate.

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