The government’s approval of a third runway at Heathrow may have a negative impact on demand for homes in the local area, but the expansion of the airport offers “exciting prospects” for the office and industrial property markets both locally and nationally, according to Jon Neale, the head of UK research at JLL.
He said: “The commitment to Heathrow expansion shows that the UK remains a highly open and international economy despite the recent vote to leave the EU. Indeed, airport and infrastructure improvements are especially important in light of this as UK PLC will be looking for closer business and trade agreements with non EU countries.
“With global flying figures not about to reduce, restricting expansion at Heathrow would result in demand displacing to other hub airports such as Schiphol and Dubai, potentially reducing British business growth and prosperity.”
Neale believes that the expansion at Heathrow will boost the “thriving industrial and logistics property market” in the area, while also helping to enrich and grow other west London industrial markets such as Park Royal, A40 Corridor and Thames Valley, which include many businesses that rely on air freight for time critical supplies or deliveries.
He continued: “Not only will it bring an employment boost to West London, expansion at Heathrow will also bring benefits to the wider South East, further opening up the growing economies of cities such as Cambridge and Oxford.”
The debate over airport capacity has been long and a decision is still not final, but Neale points out that there is also enough private sector investment to get expansion at Gatwick underway also.
He believes that a second runway at Gatwick would provide a boost to Croydon and businesses in the area, improving connectivity, while also helping to open up the property markets of new and emerging areas of London.
He added: “Only with complementary infrastructure development to access other parts of the country will we see greater equality and opportunity for the regions.
“Transport beyond air travel needs to be catered for in the long term, as transport networks such as HS2 will replace the need for some domestic air travel, and better passenger and freight connections into Europe will potentially reduce air transport needs. The overall goal must be to deliver long term sustainable growth, not simply short term employment or business targets.”