Hounslow location for detention centre announced as airport expansion consultation opens

A new location for a new immigration detention centre, between East Bedfond and Hatton in the London Borough of Hounslow, is one of many new details announced today as the final phase of consultation begins on the expansion of Heathrow airport.

The Airport Expansion Consultation will run from 18 June to 13 September 2019 and is the last phase of consultation planned by Heathrow Airport Ltd, operators of the airport and promoters of the expansion scheme. The consultation is the last major opportunity for local residents to express their views before a planning application is submitted.

New and updated information has been released today on plans for airport expansion and related developments. Local communities across the Heathrow area will be affected to varying degrees. To the north and north-west of the existing airport site, villages will be demolished in whole or in part to make way for the third runway and expanded airport boundaries. Other areas will be less dramatically affected but dozens of new developments, transport changes and construction sites will affect communities around the airport.

One of these developments is a new immigration detention centre with space to hold around 1000 people indefinitely and without charge. This is a replacement for the existing detention centres at Harmondsworth and Colnbrook which will be demolished along with nearby villages to allow the airport to expand. The new detention centre is proposed as part of the first phase of airport expansion, to be completed by 2026.

The preferred location for the new detention centre, announced today, is on the Airport Business Park site off Faggs Road in the London Borough of Hounslow, to the south-east of the airport and close to Hatton Cross London Underground station. The land is presently mostly open space, forming a green buffer between the villages of Hatton and East Bedfont. Detailed plans for the detention centre have not been released, and even the exact location within the Airport Business Park site has not been finalised. Some maps released today show buildings on the detention centre site but these are only indicative of the general proposals, not definite plans.

The site is not one of the four locations shortlisted for the detention centre in previous consultations. The nearby site at Mayfield Farm, previously shortlisted, is still under consideration but the Faggs Road site is preferred; the other three shortlisted locations, to the north and south-west of the airport, have apparently been ruled out.

More information about the proposed detention centre can be found in these consultation documents:

Over the coming days we will update this website with more information about the plans for the detention centre, and about how local residents and other concerned people can contribute to the consultation.