Designs For "Heathrow City" Released
16 July 2014, 11:21
Plans for "Heathrow City" - a 190,000-home town on the site of Heathow airport - have been unveiled.
Architects from three firms have come up with the designs if the west London airport closes.
The redevelopment of Heathrow could potentially support 90,000 new jobs and add £7.5 billion to the UK economy.
It is being supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson who backs a Thames Estuary airport to replace Heathrow.
Mr Johnson said: "The demand for new homes and jobs in the capital is such that we must be ready to start redeveloping Heathrow the moment it moves to its new site. And the sooner we start planning the better.
"We asked our architects to be as creative as possible and these designs illustrate strikingly different visions of a Heathrow of the future."
He went on: "However the key point is that all these scenarios would potentially create some of the many thousands of new jobs and homes this city will require given London is expected to increase in size by a fifth within the next 15 years.
"How we deal with that is something we need to be planning for and debating right now. Those discussions must not be delayed."
The Thames Estuary airport plan - dubbed "Boris Island" - is currently being considered by the Whitehall-appointed Airports Commission although recent reports prepared for the commission have cast doubt on the estuary scheme's feasibility.
The commission is due to make a decision this autumn on whether the estuary plan joins Heathrow and Gatwick runway schemes on the commission's shortlist.
A final decision on just where runway capacity should be increased will be made in summer 2015.