London Heathrow Airport has pledged to invest £105m (US$150m) in developing green spaces and parkland surrounding the airport should the UK government authorize its three-runway expansion plan.
The airport claims that transformational improvements to Colne Valley Regional Park would reduce flood risk, protect biodiversity and create new public spaces for people to enjoy. When completed, parkland around the airport would be approximately four times the size of London’s Hyde Park.
The new improvements would include creating wet meadows for flood protection, pastures for grazing animals, bridleways, a cross country course, natural ponds, sports facilities, formal gardens, allotments and even a mountain bike trail.
Heathrow is collaborating with the Colne Valley Regional Park Community Interest Company (CIC) on developing the vision. The green spaces redevelopment plans would be subject to public consultation as part of the planning process.
Matt Gorman, director of sustainability, London Heathrow, said, “Heathrow expansion is an opportunity to provide once in a generation improvements to the physical environment for the communities around the airport.
“Our new plan means this airport can be world-leading in environmental performance and guarantee that those most impacted by expansion get both the greatest benefits and fair treatment.”