Green Party unveils plan for houses on London City Airport site
PUBLISHED: 10:15 18 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:23 19 January 2016
Ash Sakula Architects
London City Airport could become east London's newest housing and business district.
That’s the vision of the Green Party mayoral candidate Sian Berry, who this morning unveiled plans to buy and transform the site should she be elected in May.
The airport is currently on the market for around £2billion, and Ms Berry intends to form a consortium between councils, businesses and City Hall to purchase it.
She said: “When Crossrail opens in 2019, there will be quick connections between Liverpool Street and Heathrow Airport, so City Airport isn’t really needed anymore.
“The airport brings around £100million to the economy each year, but transforming it will bring around £500m.”
The Green Party’s candidate for the London Assembly’s City and East seat, and former West Ham MP candidate, Rachel Collinson has started a petition urging insurance firm Allianz, currently bidding on the airport, to heed the business case for a change of use of the site.
A spokeswoman for London City Airport said: “If Ms Berry took the time to visit London City Airport, she would see how ill-informed her views are.
“The vast majority of Newham residents think the airport is an asset to the area. It provides some 2,000 jobs on-site, two-thirds of which are filled by local residents, and has plans to create a further 2,000.
“Business leaders deem the airport a major economic driver, providing vital connectivity, and generating some £750m per year for the UK economy, a figure that will double under expansion plans.
“The airport has been pivotal in the renaissance of London’s Royal Docks, it connected 4.3m passengers last year to business centres across Europe, and it can provide much-needed additional aviation capacity for London in the short term.
“If Ms Berry were better informed, she would understand the many benefits London City Airport brings to London and why the local and business communities value it greatly.”
The proposals have received support from campaign group HACAN East, who oppose the airport’s expansion.
Chairman John Stewart said: “Sian Berry’s plan makes both environmental and economic sense.
“It would create jobs and economic benefits while at the same time cutting noise and pollution.”
However Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, criticised the plans.
The Labour politician said: “Sian Berry’s proposal is an affront to the 2,000 people who work at the airport.
“Shutting the airport down would harm Newham and east London, and everyone knows that London needs more airport capacity, not less.
“Politicians should be working to build jobs and investment, not destroy them.”
Newham Council declined to comment on the proposals.