LOX Summary Report: Impacts

Land and property

The construction of the airport would result in these effects:

  • The airport would cover just over 33 km2 – including a mixed uses Development Zone of 230 Ha and Wildlife Reserves of just over 600 Ha.
  • 188 residential properties and a hotel, would be taken. Allowance is made in the Airport Cost Plan for 20 Listed Buildings to be taken down and re-sited within the residential district of the Development Zone, the loss of residential properties would thereby be reduced to 168.
  • 3213 hectares of agricultural land [see Figure 7] would be lost, comprised of:
    120   Ha · ALC Grade 2
    1535 Ha · ALC Grade 3a & 3b
    1558 Ha · ALC Grade 4
Agricultural Land Classification map
Figure 7: Agricultural Land Classification Larger image (pdf) (120k)


The construction of the airport would require the:

  • 23 Grade II Listed Buildings (including 3 milestones) to be taken down and re-sited;
  • the loss of just over 20 hectares of the East Hanney and Steventon Conservation Areas [see Figure 8];
  • encroachment into some 182 hectares of the Thames Valley and Buscot-Fyfield Ridge Area of High Landscape Value (Oxfordshire Structure Plan, 2001 designation).
Heritage and archeology
Figure 8: Heritage Larger image (pdf) (52k)


No impacts are assessed as significant and no Sites of Special Scientific Interest or other areas given statutory protection are within the airport site. The site is predominantly improved farmland with scattered small areas of coppice. However the area is drained by the River Ock and numerous small tributary watercourses – preliminary studies have demonstrated that these and their associated banks support a valuable riparian ecosystem. These habitats would be relocated and extended within the proposed Wildlife Reserves and replacement floodplains.

A part of a small area of Ancient Woodland (Hutchins's Copse) is within the site boundary: this would be retained and would be unaffected by the development.


The floodplain of the River Ock and its tributary streams occupies some 1055 Ha of the site [see Figure 9] and is designated as a Functional Floodplain by the Environment Agency (under Planning Policy Guidance 25). Flood management to eliminate the adverse effects of development would comprise:

  • A replacement floodplain of 575 Ha with enhanced holding capacity;
  • On-airport temporary ponds with a capacity of about 1 million cubic metres;
  • A holding pond of with a capacity of 2.25 million cubic metres.

Except for two short sections of small streams under off-site roads and acoustical bunds, no watercourses will require culverting. The airport would require extensive and significant diversions of watercourses, including a section of the River Ock.

The level of demand for water associated with the airport would substantially add to the sub-regional demand. The projected demand for water supply within the Thames Water Company area is viewed as problematic and this increased demand may be difficult to meet, even with supply and demand management and water saving technology.

Natural features of the site
Figure 9: Natural features of the site Larger image (pdf) (200k)


The table below shows the land areas and number of people predicted to be exposed to various levels of aircraft noise in 2040. These levels are based on an assumed operational day of 16 hours duration (07:00 – 23:00). See Figure 10.

Table 3: Noise levels

Leq (dBA) in 2040









Land area affected (km2)








People affected ('000s)








Aircraft noise impact
Figure 10: Leq 57 dBA noise contour (2040) Larger image (pdf) (40k)

Air quality

Under European Union legislation, mandatory limits for airborne pollutants will apply to all airport development from 2010. The population predicted to be exposed to airborne pollutants in excess of these EU limits in 2030 is:

  • Particulate matter: PM10 – nil.
  • Nitrogen Oxide: NO2 – it is estimated that less than 300 people would be exposed to excessive levels of NO2 in 2030 in the 4 runway option. These effects could probably be prevented. None are affected by the 2 runway option.

Safety Risk

There are no impacts within the 1 in 100,000 risk contours defined for the runways. [See Figure 11]. All runways would have Runway End Safety Areas of 985 or 1000 metres in length [see Figure 11].

Public Safety Zones
Figure 11: Public Safety Zones Larger image (pdf) (184k) |
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