Boris Johnson is paying architects £90,000 to draw up plans for new homes on the site of Heathrow airport despite there being no plans to demolish it and City Hall having no control over its future.
The Mayor wants to replace the airport with a new airport in the Thames Estuary in Kent, however his plans lack the support of the UK Government, which controls aviation policy, and many major airlines.
They’re also opposed by local Kent politicians, residents and campaigners who say the proposed airport would damage the local ecology and environment.
Last year the Government’s airport commission recommended further expansion at Heathrow and Gatwick airports to increase the UK’s air capacity.
All parties at City Hall oppose increasing capacity at Heathrow, although only the Conservatives back the Mayor’s Thames Estuary option.
Despite the lack of control over aviation policy and absence of any backing for his scheme, the Mayor has instructed Transport for London to draw up proposals for increasing runway capacity.
On Thursday his office announced three architect firms has been appointed by TfL to produce designs for redeveloping the Heathrow site “if a new hub airport to the east of London was eventually agreed by the Government.”
A spokesman for the Mayor confirmed that each would be paid £30,000 for their work.