More than 70,000 new homes and 56 new schools will be needed if Heathrow is expanded, aviation experts have heard.
Surrey County Council leader David Hodge told a Runways UK conference:
Expanding the airport could require up to 70,800 homes to be built in the local area* over the next 15 years
That would mean a need for 50 more primary schools and six new secondary schools.
He discussed the figures contained in last week’s Airports Commission report after giving a speech in which he stressed that before any new runway is built at Heathrow or Gatwick there needs to be investment in local infrastructure.
Mr Hodge said: “We are not against expansion of either Gatwick or Heathrow. There are national and local benefits – especially economic – from both but we can only support expansion if the necessary investment in local infrastructure is put in place first.
“As a starting point for Heathrow, we need a fourth lane on the M25 from junctions 10 to 16, widening work at junction 11, a new rail service to Waterloo from the airport via Staines and more coaches and buses to link it to places like Camberley, Woking and Guildford.
“And if we are to be certain that our residents will see the benefit of the extra schools, homes and environmental measures that expansion requires, investment will need to go well beyond improving transport links.”
* The 14 boroughs surrounding Heathrow, including Spelthorne and Runnymede.