Farrell prefers idea of transport ‘hub’ to new airport

Sir Terry Farrell has slammed plans by fellow big-name architect Lord Foster for an airport in the Thames Estuary.

Farrell, who is an adviser to London mayor Boris Johnson, argued this week that a “constellation hub” linking five existing airports by high speed rail would be a more cost-effective and sustainable infrastructure choice. He made the comments in a speech on Tuesday at an economic development conference called Place West London.

Foster’s preliminary plans - unveiled in the summer and drawn up by his practice Foster + Partners and Halcrow - span the next 50 years and revolve around a 150 million passenger airport in the estuary to replace Heathrow.

Farrell suggested Fosters’ scheme would become obsolete in as little as 20 years. His firm Farrells has been commissioned by Hammersmith and Fulham council to examine the potential for developing an area in the borough where the Crossrail and High Speed 2 rail links would meet, He said: “Old Oak Common, where Crossrail and HS2 will connect, will properly link five of the nation’s major airports to the high speed rail network for the first time. Heathrow will be just 11 minutes away and four other airports (Birmingham, Luton, Stansted and City Airport) will be within half an hour. If we build a brand new £50bn airport to meet today’s demands then what will we do after 20 years of exponential growth, build another one?”