Transport guru Terry Farrell has slammed London mayor Boris Johnson’s ‘obsession’ with plans to build an airport in the Thames Estuary, quipping that the vision was Hitler-like
More from: Farrell likens Boris Johnson to Hitler
Yesterday the mayor said his preferred solution for the so-called aviation crisis was to build a £65 billion hub on the Isle of Grain - an idea first mooted by Foster + Partners and Halcrow back in late 2011 (AJ 02.11.2011).
Johnson said the proposal to create a huge four-runway mega-airport on reclaimed land on the Hoo Peninsula was his ‘first choice’ ahead of his ‘second choice’ - a possible expansion at Stansted. A third option, to build a huge ‘Boris Island’ much further out in the estuary, has effectively been ruled out.
However, talking to the Evening Standard, Farrell branded the estuary airport plans ‘mad’ and attacked the mayor’s suggestion that, once built, Heathrow could be shut and turned into a new borough for 250,000 residents.
He told the newspaper: ‘When people say that you have got to have vision, well Hitler had vision.
‘Vision can be a madness where you get so obsessed you throw everything you have got on the roulette table and hope you got it right.’
He added: ‘[People] say you could make Heathrow a new town. [This scheme would make] HS2 look like chicken feed. It’s going to be the biggest project the UK has ever done in its history.’
Farrell, who has recently been appointed to investigate the potential for a second runway at Gatwick, has been a long-time critic of plans to build a super-hub airport east of London.
The architect was quick to lay into Norman Foster’s proposed Isle of Grain airport in 2011 (Terry Farrell hits out at Foster’s estuary airport scheme) at the time advocating a new rail hub connecting existing airports in west London - a concept dubbed the ‘constellation’ approach.
Responding to Farrell’s broadside the Mayor’s aviation adviser Daniel Moylan hit back, re-iterating comments made to the AJ in January (Airport tzar Moylan: Farrell’s rail hub airport link is ‘ludicrous).
He told the Evening Standard: ‘An airport in the estuary works in surface access terms not just for London but for the whole country and our proposals prove it. There are better and cheaper connections from most parts of west London than currently serve Heathrow.’
The three proposals mooted by the mayor have emerged following by a team which including Pascall & Watson, Atkins and Zaha Hadid Architects.