The Secretary of State for Transport believes the decision to expand Heathrow Airport will benefit Great Britain as a whole – and has outlined plans to compensate residents affected.
Chris Grayling MP was speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon after it was announced that ministers approved plans for a third runway at the airport, ahead of plans to build a second runway at Gatwick Airport.
“This is a momentous step for our country,” the MP for Epson and Ewell said.
“The decision sends a clear message that this country is open for business.”
But he moved to east concerns of nearby residents over the impact on noise and how the government will help those that will be affected by the creation of a new runway.
This includes a £2.6 billion compensation scheme for local communities which will offer 25% above market value for homes and cover all moving costs for families whose homes will be destroyed.
He added: “This plan comes with world-leading measures to limit the impact on those living nearby.”
Mr Grayling stated that the plan will help the country keep in touch with other fast-growing economies in Europe and the Middle East.
Although the plan to build the new runway will cost £16 billion, Mr Grayling stated that he believed the country would bring in up to £60 billion over the next 60 years.
There will also be six new routes for trade across the UK, increasing the total number to 14.
He said: “This is a decision in the national interest, not just in the southeast of England.
“It delivers the greatest economic and strategic benefits to our country.”
The former Leader of the House of Commons also spoke at length about his desire to avoid increasing the cost of flying for the public.
“This is an investment in our country’s future and will deliver economic benefits but must do so without hitting passengers in the pocket,” he said.
“This is not expansion at any cost, but the right scheme at the right price.”