Businesses will consider leaving the UK if Heathrow was shut down, a new poll has found.
Property investment giant Segro, which owns £1.2bn assets around Heathrow, polled 77 businesses employing 18,000 people and found that a majority is in favour of expanding the airport.
More than 80% voted in favour of expanding Heathrow with a third saying capacity issues are affecting their business growth.
While half said they would relocate if Britain’s hub airport was moved to the Thames Estuary, more than a quarter didn’t know what their response would be.
“Expanding Heathrow is the quickest and most financially viable option for delivering new airport capacity in the UK,” said David Sleath, chief executive of Segro. “From speaking with these companies it is clear that they back expansion to support their growth plans. The uncertainty surrounding Heathrow is not good for businesses and could affect long term investment decisions in the UK.”
Earlier this week, a report by property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) found that the value of value of commercial property around Heathrow could dip by nearly £3bn, if Boris Johnson’s plan to open a new hub airport is approved.
Tom Leahy, an associate director of research at LSH, said: “If the Davies commission [on airport expansion] recommends a Thames Estuary airport, Heathrow would have to close, and the 25 to 35% premium paid for property in the area would disappear overnight.
“The impact of the closure would ripple out to the … Thames Valley and … West London, causing the combined value of these markets to fall by many billions.”
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