Truss backs Heathrow expansion | Construction News

Prime minister Liz Truss has expressed support for Heathrow Airport’s third runway, a break with her predecessor Boris Johnson’s stance.

Truss was questioned at Prime Minster’s Questions about her position on the £14bn project, which is currently under review by the airport’s owners.

An MP opposed to the expansion asked whether she agreed with a recent statement in support of the concept by transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

Truss said she “absolutely agrees” with Trevelyan’s support for the scheme.

She added that the environmental concerns raised about the project could be addressed by making the aviation industry more low carbon.

“What we need to do is make sure industries like the air industry become more environmentally friendly. I support the development of low carbon technology in those sectors. That’s the way we will help grow the economy but also serve the environment,” she said.

Former PM Boris Johnson, MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, a constituency close to the airport, was an opponent of proposals to expand Heathrow.

Truss had been challenged by Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park Sarah Olney during PMQs. She said any expansion would be “disastrous” and that a third runway could generate six million tonnes of carbon annually while creating noise pollution for two million households.

Speaking after the session, Olney said: “Liz Truss has confirmed the worst fears for my constituents in Richmond Park and confirmed she supports a third runway. As the local MP, I will fight tooth and nail to stop any prevent any expansion at Heathrow. Liz Truss’s Conservatives simply cannot be trusted to protect our communities from Heathrow expansion.”

The Supreme Court lifted a ban on building a third runway at Heathrow in September 2020. The Court of Appeal had previously said the plan was unlawful because the UK’s carbon commitments outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement had not been considered. A review is currently under way by the airport’s owners before they reshape planning documents for the expansion prior to submission.

Among other major construction projects Truss has recently backed is the previously cancelled Northern Powerhouse Rail.

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