After the announcement of Heathrow expansion, landlords and property owners have been asking me what is going to happen to property prices in West Drayton? Historically property prices have been lower in Longford, Harmondsworth and Harlington because of the anticipated expansion and the impact of being so close to Heathrow. However I think the view is more positive for West Drayton.
When we think about Heathrow’s expansion and the effect on property in West Drayton we have to think about the benefits and drawbacks for people who occupy West Drayton houses both as tenants and owner occupiers.
Heathrow History. Did you know?
Heathrow only came about because a WWI air ace, Norman Macmillan, working for an aeronautic engineering company Fairey crash landed on market gardens at Heathrow. When Fairey were kicked off their Northolt site by the Air Ministry in the late 20’s they needed another runway to test their planes, built in Hayes. Norman Macmillan remembered Heathrow would make a good landing strip being so flat. The company bought land at Heathrow and the rest is history…
Fairey ceased aircraft manufacturing in 1960 but there is still a Fairey Avenue in Hayes, near Nestles Avenue.
The benefits of Heathrow Expansion
The benefits for you as a property owner in the area are being close it to the airport for flights (a small benefit frankly as the average person flies only once a year).
The main benefit will be an upturn in local commercial activity locally and in surrounding boroughs. Increased commercial activity at Heathrow from suppliers (such as catering food manufacturers) and other users of Heathrow (freight forwarders, BA, engineering companies) and in turn suppliers to them and then companies who want the proximity to the transport links offered will result from expansion.
This commercial activity and proximity to strong transport connections continue to make Uxbridge and Slough an attractive area for headquarters in the UK if not European headquarters. We have the proximity to Europe with fast connections so why not even post Brexit.
This in turn means more people wanting to live in and around the area not too far from work as the airport expands. Employment being a key reason why anyone wants to live anywhere (cost of housing and proximity to friends and family being the two other keys).
As the Airports Commission has said one of the positive reasons for Heathrow was job creation which Heathrow was anticipated to create in an area of West London which can support the expected growth.
However against employment is the problems that being close to an airport brings:
Lower air quality
Hard to quantify the effect as a resident living day to day in the area.
Noise from planes in the air
Hillingdon, Hayes, Uxbridge, West Drayton and Ruislip have been insulated from Heathrow by the East/West configuration of the runways and RAF Northolts flight paths.
One of the unknown questions is what will the impact of Heathrow be on RAF Northolt and how will this impact the area round Hillingdon, such as Oak Farm and South Ruislip.
As long as the status of Northolt is unchanged then the cushion noise immediately north of Heathrow should remain.
Proposed Heathrow Flight Path with 3rd runway
..and on the ground
One concern for local residents in West Drayton with expansion is ground level noise mitigation. When you are outside new the Airport Bowl or the roads nearby you can hear those jet engines powering up and down, they scream like night terrors. You just can’t talk over them. Frankly chain linked fence doesn’t cut the mustard in terms of noise mitigation so residents hope more is done to prevent that blight.
Local View. Incidentally when are inside you don’t hear the planes. Flats in the area, such as David Close and Caroline Place are built with windows with at least double glazing and void spaces of about 30cm before other glass which does a lot to dampen noise.
However when you look at a plan of an expanded Heathrow there is still fields and the M4 between West Drayton and the airport. These will act as an important buffer. Along with I hope suitable noise mitigation measures.
North Part of Expanded Heathrow
An enlarged Heathrow would bring more traffic. The majority of the traffic will still arrive along the M4. There will be calls for the HS2 spur to be reinstated I would estimate, but then there will also be more taxi drivers hanging around in local roads waiting for Uber calls. However it would appear that Heathrow are getting a handle on the issue.
As for public transport there will be calls for a Heathrow spur from HS2 to be reinstated and the spur from Crossrail will be in place completed in 2019.
So will Property Prices be Affected?
In West Drayton, with extra employment offered and good mitigation measures in place I think that the long term story will be positive. Declining house prices in West Drayton is not a reason to be against Heathrow expansion, in fact in the long term I see many positives for West Drayton property owners.