Report damns Thames Estuary airport plans

Plans for the Thames Estuary ‘Boris Island’ airport have been dealt a blow after a major report claimed it would be an environmental “disaster”.

London’s airports are vying for expansion approval, as London city planners look at ways of handling the huge population expansions forecast over the coming decades. Gatwick and Heathrow have each applied for additional runways, whilst more ambitious plans would see a huge new airport opened in the Thames Estuary that could effectively see the other London airports closed for good.

Now it seems the latter may not be as viable an option as once thought, with a report into the airport highlighting “large-scale adverse affects” on wildlife and the environment. Not only that, such issues could prove expensive, with moves to alleviate any environmental damage sending the eventual cost to £2 billion – four times that of the original proposal put forward by Mayor Boris Johnson.

The report added that, even if these costs were met, they still wouldn’t be quite enough to mitigate the environmental damage, which might never be undone, notes.

This damning verdict could prove decisive as wider sentiment towards the airport has already begun to turn. As such, expansion to Heathrow or Gatwick could end up being a much likelier outcome for at least the next few decades. has the report saying: “A large area of compensation habitat creation would be required and this would be on a scale unprecedented for any single development in Europe.

“While it is technically possible to create large-scale habitats, there is, however, a high level of uncertainty in achieving this.”