Goldsmith deems ‘bonkers’ Heathrow expansion unlikely

Heathrow expansion is "more unlikely than likely" and a proper review into the planned development would conclude it is a "bad project", environment minister Zac Goldsmith has said.

Speaking in an interview with parliament’s The House Magazine, Goldsmith - who resigned his Richmond Park seat in protest over the Conservative Party’s support for the airport development before returning to the fold and being reelected in 2017 - said he is still a fierce critic of the scheme. 

“My position on Heathrow hasn’t changed,” Goldsmith told the magazine. “I think it’s a bonkers scheme, and all the arguments that I’ve been using for the last 10 years and repeating ad nauseam are true, in my view, and I see nothing to persuade me that they’re wrong.”

If there were a review into expansion similar to the one currently being undertaken into the High Speed Rail line (HS2), one that was “entirely objective and began with a fresh canvas”, it would “conclude that it’s a bad project,'' he said. 

“Heathrow still has to go through all kinds of cumbersome planning and policy processes, and I’m not convinced that it’ll survive that,” he said, adding that the airport will “struggle to come up with the cash” and therefore ask for “really vast sums of money from the public purse, and I don’t think there’s much appetite, if any appetite for that”.

“I think it's a bad scheme, I think it’ll do harm, but if I was asked to bet on whether Heathrow’s going to expand, I still believe Heathrow is more unlikely than likely to expand,” he said. 


Related ENDS Compliance Content

  • Climate Change Act 2008

    Climate Change Act 2008

    In force/
    England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, UK, Wales
    01 May 2014


    28/04/2014 Amendments to Section 77 and Schedule 6 relating to charges for carrier bags, introduced by the Carrier Bags Act (Northern Ireland) 2014, published.
    01/02/2017 Amending Act (Wales Act 2017) published., 27/06/2019 Amending Order (SI 2019/1056) published, setting net zero target for 2050.

    Compliance Dates

    31/05/2009 Secretary of State must set carbon budgets for 2008-2012, 2013-2017 and 2018-2022 (Section 4), 31/05/2009 Secretary of State to set limit on net amount of carbon units that may be credited to the net UK carbon account for the first budgetary period (Section 11), 31/05/2052 Secretary of State to lay before Parliament a report on the final figures for the net UK carbon account in 2050 (Section 20), 31/12/2012 Secretary of State to set out, by Regulations, the circumstances and extent that the international aviation and shipping emissions are to be included in the carbon budgets and targets, or report to Parliament the reason as to why no Regulations have , 30/09/2009 CCC to lay the first annual report before Parliament that assesses the progress towards meeting the carbon budgets and the 2050 target, the progress needed and whether the target and budgets are likely to be met (Section 36), 15/01/2010 Secretary of State to respond to the CCC progress report (Section 37), 26/11/2009 Secretary of State to present the first report to Parliament on the circumstances in which Directions are likely to be given (Section 65)
    01/10/2009 Secretary of State to publish Guidance on the measurement or calculation of GHG emission (Section 80)
    01/12/2010 Report reviewing the contribution of reporting of GHG emissions to the Government’s objectives to be laid before Parliament (Section 84)
    06/04/2012 Secretary of State to make Regulations requiring directors to include information on GHG emissions in their company reports, or to explain why no Regulations have been made (Section 85), 26/11/2008 Part 1, 2 and 6 comes into force (Section 100)
    01/01/2009 Section 82 comes into force, 26/01/2009 All provisions come into force, apart from Part 1, 2 and 6; and Sections 71(1), 81 and 82; and Schedule 5



    Energy/climate change Sustainable development


    OPSI (Office of Public Sector Information)

    Affected Sectors


Compliance Search

Discover all ENDS content in one place, including legislation summaries to keep up to date with compliance deadlines

Compliance Deadlines

Plan ahead with our Calendar feature highlighting upcoming compliance deadlines

News from ENDS Europe

News from ENDS Waste & Bioenergy